Why Does Cystitis Keep Coming Back?

Jun 20, 2018 Cystitis / UTI

Cystitis is a urological condition that mainly affects women symptoms include painful urination and an urgent need to go to the toilet. Most women suffer from it occasionally and are able to treat it at home themselves.  

Others have recurring cystitis which causes great discomfort and affects everyday life. In most cases, the cause is a bacterial infection in the bladder. Treatment for cystitis includes antibiotics (such as Nitrofurantoin and Trimethoprim) which cure the bacterial infection.  

You can prevent infection by wiping from front to back, emptying your bladder, avoiding bubble bath with a strong scent and drinking plenty of water.

Home treatment includes; drinking plenty of water, avoiding sexual intercourse, a hot water bottle on the abdomen or between the thighs. Interstitial cystitis has similar symptoms to the bacterial version but is not a bacterial infection.  

Treating this condition is more complex because the cause is physical and damage to the bladder and pelvic area.  Whatever the cause of recurring cystitis it is important to visit your doctor to avoid further complications such as kidney infections.

What Is Cystitis?

Cystitis is a urinary tract infection (UTI) which causes inflammation of the bladder. Symptoms include painful urination, cloudy urine, stomach pain and feeling unwell.   

Women are prone to the infection because their urethra and back passage are close together making it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder. Sometimes the cause is uncertain although the following increase your chances of getting cystitis; not wiping from front to back, tampons, catheters, and IUDs.

Most of the time drinking plenty of water, over the counter painkillers, avoiding sex and using a hot water bottle helps it to clear up in days. Cranberry juice is a popular drink we associate with curing the condition but there is no scientific evidence to suggest it actually helps to relieve symptoms.

Persistent UTIs require antibiotics to cure them to avoid a kidney infection if left for too long. Chronic cystitis disrupts lives and leaves sufferers feeling run down.

Sometimes the cause is not due to a bacterial infection and has physical causes such as a damaged bladder, Symptoms are similar to the UTI including pelvic pain.  

Treatment requires a lot of trial and error until doctors are able to suggest one suitable for you. People with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and lupus are more susceptible to the condition.  This version is called interstitial cystitis and is common amongst middle-aged women.

Why Does It Keep Coming Back?

Some women suffer from recurring Cystitis and UTIs for no obvious reason.  

An underlying kidney problem, sexual intercourse, internal contraceptives and hormones are possible reasons repetitive infections occur.   

A predisposition to bacterial infections and an overactive immune system is also a contributing factor.

The most effective treatment for frequent cystitis is to take antibiotics as soon as the symptoms occur. Lifestyle changes rarely reduce the chances of getting an infection and antibiotics don’t always provide a complete solution.

It is vitally important to visit your doctor if you continually suffer from symptoms.  

By Parv Sagoo (March 2018)

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