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Video

Dr Christian:

Hundreds of you have been leaving messages on the Embarrassing Bodies website about cystitis. It is a very common condition and you’d like to know what you can do about it. Cystitis is basically an inflammation of the bladder. Most commonly it’s caused by an infection but it can also be caused by irritation, damage and friction during sex.

Pain can be a very common symptom with cystitis and it can be agonising. There are a number of things you can do to help including drinking plenty of water to flush out your bladder, but also by taking over the counter painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen. Try and avoid having sex because this can make the pain worse and also aggravate the cystitis.

A lot of you have left messages saying that your treatment for cystitis hasn’t worked and that you’ve still got it. Very often when you come to talk to us, based on your symptoms we’ll simply give you an antibiotic without doing any tests, but sometimes the bug that you have causing your symptoms may not respond, or be killed by the antibiotic. Your GP may need to do a urine test to find out exactly what bug it is, and which antibiotics will be best for you, so do go back and have a chat with them.

A lot of you are asking whether cystitis is linked to sex, and actually yes it is. Sex causes friction and trauma in some cases down below and these can all irritate the bladder, causing symptoms of cystitis. And also the friction of sex can push bacteria into the urethra, which can get into the bladder, causing cystitis. If you want to reduce this always shower before and after sex and try and pee when you’ve finished having sex.

Remember that some symptoms of cystitis can also be symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection, so if you’ve had unprotected sex do go and have a full sexual health screen.

A few of you have left messages complaining that you’ve suffered from blood in your urine and are wondering whether cystitis could be a possible cause. Well it could, bacterial infections can irritate the bladder wall and cause bleeding, but so can a few other things including tumours and bladder stones, so in any case of blood in the urine always get it checked out by your GP.

I’ve noticed that quite a few men are leaving questions about cystitis. Cystitis in men is much more rare and should always be seen by a doctor. Pain during sex and pain on peeing can be a symptom of a sexual infection or a prostate problem, so always get it seen to.

Men and boys should always see a GP if they have cystitis. Women should always see a GP the first time they have it but subsequent times should be able to treat it on their own. Most cystitis will clear up after four or five days but if it’s persisting then go back and see your GP.

Read the video transcript

Doctor Responses: Cystitis

In this short video, Dr Christian responds to some of your most pressing questions regarding cystitis and related bladder and kidney issues.

The majority of the questions Dr Christian has answered were taken from our cystitis condition guide.

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Comments and Questions

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Hi I keep wanting to wee I go then I want to go again sometimes my wee is abit orange. Sometimes clear then yellow. Sometimes abit cloudy. Could this be infection there's no red in it thank you





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i have been having the same problem for over 3 years making me have time of college, if it helps im on antibiotics called ' nitrofurantoin 50g capsules subscribed to me for the last few months and has worked fine i only take one a day as well as drinking loads' they tryed me on every anti biotic i used to have uti's every 2 weeks and since ive seen a urologist and been given these anti biotics for months they do help no symptoms what so ever and im relieved as i was so bad! but now its looking up i just dont want to come of them :)any know what else i can do?





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I am 18 years old and have been getting cystitis nearly every month or every couple of months since I was about 16. I was prescribed a months course of anti biotics as it was suppose to clear the infection up for good but it only worked for a few months. However I dont get it as much now but I have had a kidney infection for over 2 weeks now, I was prescribed a weeks course of antibiotics two weeks ago which didnt clear it up. I am always feeling the need to pee and sick of having infections all the time. Could anyone give me any advice on what to do please or what is wrong with my system. I would appreciate any help





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Hi, I have this same issue I am 17, and have been getting infections for the past two years, I've been sent for scans, blood tests, everything and no luck. I was even tested for diabetes, the doctors do not know what other tests they can possibly do. I'm sick of being in pain all the time, I was put on a preventative course of antibiotics for a month, while I was on them I was fine but now I have completed the course and have got another infection again. The doctors cannot seem to find the cause of my cystitis, which is really quiet annoying. I've found that the antibiotics work great at curing the symptoms, but do not seem to help the underlying issue. I have also found that placing a hot water bottle between my legs helps the uncomfortable pain in the bladder. (Sounds weird I know ) Any advice from anyone would be much appreciated.

Hi I'm 17 and this is my third time with cystitis, it's not as painful as the last few times but now there's just this constant need to pee and it's keeping me awake at night I'm also having to get sent home from work a lot because of it. I know of the sachets and cranberry juice but can't get to the doctor for antibiotics for a while so just wondered if there's any other solution to make it happen less frequently??





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Hi guys, I've been the same, but luckily I don't get it as much as I take cramberry tablets every time after sex!! Also always make sure you're BOTH clean before you have sex and always pee after sex! Also something I've realised after the years of pain and burning is to take Ibeprophen when you start to feel that slight tingling buring, you'll be so surprised after an hour it will just go! Ibeprofen is anti-inflammatory and I can't believe the doctors never tell anyone that!! So if you're in pain now, take it now like I just have! : ) I'm defo going to try that D Mannose stuff too so thanks for that info! If you go by all this I am sure you'll never have to take antibiotics , that's the worst thing you can take as it lowers your immune system and you won't be able to fight anything off when you're older. Good luck guys! Take that Ibeprofen now lol! X





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Hi ladies. So sorry to hear about all of your cystitis woes. I am a 32 yr old woman, and have suffered from cystitis since I first started having sex. The best advice I can give is: -always go to the loo after sex. It helps if your bladder is empty before sex yoo. -Try to wash after sex. Sounds a bit clinical, but can help stop bacteria spreading. -Drink cranberry juice by the litre! It really helped me. Alternatively there are sachets for cystitis relief like cymalon or cystemme in the chemist. I have been told bicarbonate of soda mixed in water helps, though it tastes revolting! Apple le cider vinegar in hot water helped me too. -Wash with fragrance free shower gel or intimate wash. -Avoid having sex until you've fully recovered. -Avoid caffeine, tight fitting clothes and make sure you flush your system through with water to make urine less acidic. Hope this is helpful! Lucy





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I am 18 years old I get wee infections all the time but now it's got to the point I actually weed myself !!!!!!!! Help??? I have a lot of sex could that be why???????? But it's with the same person !?





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i have been having the same problem for over 3 years making me have time of college, if it helps im on antibiotics called ' nitrofurantoin 50g capsules subscribed to me for the last few months and has worked fine i only take one a day as well as drinking loads' they tryed me on every anti biotic i used to have uti's every 2 weeks and since ive seen a urologist and been given these anti biotics for months they do help no symptoms what so ever and im relieved as i was so bad! but now its looking up i just dont want to come of them :)

Im 17 years old and a week ago it started to burn when i pee, i then got a majour sharp stabbing pain in the lower right side of my back. I went to a&e and they prescribed me with a 3day treatment of nitrofurantoin which was ment to take then pain away when going to the bathroom unfortunatly it never. I also got given voltarol suppositories for a five day treatment which was only suppose to be used if there was any pain. Its been more than five days since i got given them and i still need to take them. Why might this be?





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My mum suffers with Interstitial cystitis and has a lot of pain, goes to the doctor and they just prescribe antibiotics. Is there anything that she can take to stop the horrible pain she is in?? Any advice would be very useful and appreciated.





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I had interstitial cystitis and it's not caused by bacteria it's caused by small cracks in the lining of the bladder which u can get treated for

Pre relief heath food store it's a cranberry powder you add water aloe Vera three or four pills if bad ic a day lots of water try to stay calm. Yoga helps it's calming and the book along the healing path by Catherine m Simone eat calming foods hot baths the book is great keeps your mind off stress and really really helps. Good luck I've been there it's not fun

Hi also I've heard coconut oil helps rub it right on the virgins it helps to plump up things which is good. It's also a natural lubricant. I've tried it and it seams to help good luck I hope she feels better soon

Ive had cystitus for over a week, ive been on antibiotics for 2 days now, doctor didnt tell me not to have sex, but I did when I started the antibiotics. This was caused by sex in the first place. Now its the 2nd day of taking antibiotics, ive started burnin and hurts, have I got it again!? And will the antibiotics help my kidneys aswell? As my lower back really aches. Really carnt ve doing with having this again it really hurts.





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