Cystitis: how to avoid it

Cystitis usually occurs as the result of an infection. Although anyone can get cystitis, adult women are most commonly affected. Most women get at least one attack in their lifetime. For some women cystitis is a rare event, for others it happens four or five times a year. Cystitis is more common in sexually active women, during pregnancy and after the menopause.

Symptoms of cystitis
Common symptoms are a sharp pain when passing urine, and an urgent and frequent need to pass urine, often with little or no urine being passed. Other possible symptoms include blood in the urine, backache, loin pain, lower abdominal aches and generally feeling unwell.

Preventing cystitis
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Drinking one glass of cranberry juice a day is also believed to help prevent cystitis. After visiting the toilet, women should always wipe themselves from front to back. Loose clothing and cotton underwear help, too. Avoid potential irritants such as perfumed bath oils and vaginal deodorants. Don't douche. Always wash before and after sex, and pass water as soon after sex as possible

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