What Is Cystitis Like When On Your Period?

Cystitis is caused when the bladder becomes inflamed.  It is normally caused by a urinary tract infection.  Women tend to suffer from the condition more than men, although both can suffer from it.  Cystitis is an unpleasant condition that has a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, most commonly an urgent need to go to the toilet.  

There are two main types of cystitis - Acute and Interstitial. The former just comes on quickly while the latter is long term and affects multiple layers in the bladder.  Cystitis can either be; bacterial, drug-induced, radiation, foreign body, chemical or related to other conditions such as diabetes. Interstitial cystitis can become more painful during menstruation.

Symptoms

Cystitis has some very distinctive symptoms including:-

  • An urgent need to urinate.
  • A burning sensation when urinating.
  • Passing small amounts of urine frequently.
  • Blood in your urine.
  • Cloudy, strong smelling urine.
  • Pelvic discomfort.
  • Pain in the abdomen.
  • Slight fever.
  • (Source: Mayo Clinic).

Why Can Cystitis Symptoms Worsen On A Period?

In 2005, Powell-Boone from the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Alabama, USA studied the effects of menstruation on interstitial cystitis (IC).  The study involved assessing the the pain encountered by people suffering from IC compared to a control group unaffected by the condition.  It was found that participants with IC recorded a higher pain score than lose without it.  The conclusion of the study was that menstruation does cause a flare in cystitis symptoms.  This is attributed to the relationship between gonadal hormones on bladder sensory processing.  Hormonal modulation could be considered as a potential treatment to control the pain.  (Source: Pubmed.gov).

Natural Ways To Ease Symptoms

If you have been to the doctor and have been diagnosed with mild cystitis the following measures could help to ease your symptoms:-

  • Drink plenty of water - this will flush out your bladder and make sure that your urine is diluted.
  • Use a hot water bottle on your stomach or between your thighs to relieve the pain.
  • Cranberry juice is thought to help ease symptoms, although there is no scientific proof behind the theory.
  • Over the counter, anti inflammatories such as Ibuprofen can also help ease the pain.

If your symptoms persist or worsen it is imperative that you go and see your doctor, as the condition could become very serious.

Antibiotics

Trimethoprim is an antibiotic that is particularly effective in treating cystitis.  It works by killing the bacteria causing the infection in the bladder.  Trimethoprim is used to treat simple urinary tract infections.  Dosage is one 200 mg tablet taken twice a day for three days twelve hours apart.  It should be taken with a large glass of water.  It should not be taken if you are; sensitive to the ingredients, have a blood disorder, pregnant, have severe kidney disease or severe liver disease.  A consultation with your doctor will determine if Trimethoprim is suitable for you to take.

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