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What causes cystitis?

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What is cystitis?

Cystitis is a common condition that causes the bladder to become inflamed. The symptoms include pain when urinating and the need to frequently urinate. Find out more about cystitis here.

How do you get cystitis?

Cystitis is a common type of urinary tract infection (UTI). Women are more likely than men to develop cystitis, as the urethra (the tube that passes urine from the bladder outside the body) is shorter and the opening is nearer to the anus.

Bacterial cystitis is caused by the bacteria from your anus coming into contact with your urethra, and then an infection can develop within your bladder causing pain and inflammation. Cystitis can also be caused by damage or irritation to the bladder; this is not always because of a bacterial infection.

Cystitis causes can include:

  • Having sex
  • Not emptying your bladder fully when you urinate
  • Pressure on your bladder when you’re pregnant
  • Wiping from back to front when you go to the toilet. Women should wipe from front to back to avoid any infections
  • Using tampons
  • Using a contraceptive diaphragm
  • Chemicals and perfumes in soap
  • Not drinking enough fluids and becoming dehydrated
  • Hormonal changes, such as the menopause

Why do I keep getting cystitis?

Recurrent cystitis and UTIs can be a frustrating and painful condition that can interrupt your daily life; however there are ways of preventing the infection from returning. It may be that you have not fully recovered from your previous bout of cystitis, it’s best if you revisit your doctor who will be able to offer advice and treatment.

There are ways that you can prevent cystitis from returning these include:

  • Avoid using perfumed soaps, bubble baths and powders around your genitals
  • Emptying your bladder fully when you urinate
  • Wearing cotton underwear
  • Not wearing tight fitting trousers
  • Wiping from front to back after you have been to the toilet
  • Going to the toilet when you need to
  • Showering rather than bathing
  • Urinating after sex

If I have sex will I get cystitis?

Not necessarily, however cystitis is more likely to occur after sex, especially if you are having sex often, for the first time or for the first time in a while. This is known as honeymoon cystitis and the symptoms are exactly the same and can include, needing to urinate frequently and pain when urinating.

You can also prevent honeymoon cystitis from developing by urinating after sex as this will help to flush out any bacteria that may have got into your urethra.

What is the best thing for cystitis?

Staying hydrated throughout the day can help to flush out the bacteria causing the infection, however if your symptoms don’t improve within three days visit your GP for a course of antibiotics.

You can learn more about the treatments for cystitis by reading this article on our site: Nitrofurantoin cystitis treatment. You can also visit our Online Doctor cystitis clinic to learn more and to order antibiotics using our secure prescription service.

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Can cystitis be passed onto your partner?

The bacteria that cause cystitis can be passed on to your partner, whether you are a man or woman. This bacterium may not develop into a urinary tract infection (UTI); however the risk of this happening is increased by having sex.

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