Cystitis can be caused by bruising the bladder wall (often as a result of sex) or a bacterial infection within the bladder. Often bacterial infection is also associated with sex as vaginal bacteria can migrate toward the urethra.
The most common advice is- to wipe front to back when going to the toilet and to urinate before and after sex, another good preventative measure is to drink a glass of water after you've urinated/ before you have sex so that you bladder can empty itself after intercourse to flush out any bacteria. Be careful you don't drink too much though as a full bladder increases the chances of bruising. Also, go to the toilet as soon as you feel the need and drink plenty of water.
However, for some these measures aren't enough, therefore I have included further precautions that can be taken.
- Use extra lubrication- even if you feel aroused! The lube will prevent any unnecessary friction that could cause bruising to the urethra.
- Use non-latex condoms, such as Avanti by Durex, this will remove the chance of cystitis being aggravated by a latex allergy.
- Take cranberry concentrate capsules daily; these prevent bacteria from multiplying and sticking to the wall of the bladder, therefore averting contracting a UTI (cranberry juice has the same effect if you like the taste).
- Uva Ursi tablets can also be taken as these act as an antiseptic in the bladder, they must only be used TEMPORARILY, for no longer than a few days, a maximum of five uses in a year.
- Wash before sex if possible and also request that your partner does the same, (maybe have a sexy shower together as part of foreplay) if this isn't possible damp a cloth or some tissue and give yourself a quick clean. (you could get him to do it for you, sexy, part of foreplay)
- After sex, pour cool water over the area -also if this is possible- if not, again give your self a quick wipe (always front to back!)
Once you've got cystitis, the best way to get rid of it is to visit your GP for a course of antibiotics. Also make sure you're drinking plenty of water and avoiding anything too acidic (this can create favourable conditions within the bladder for bacteria to multiply).
If you suffer from regular bouts of cystitis, it would be a good idea to ask your GP for some antibiotics to keep at home so that you can treat yourself as soon as an attack starts. If you find that the above measures do little for preventing these attacks, it is recommended that you talk to your GP about the possibility of having antibiotics that you take each time you have sex. These antibiotics are a low dose that are designed to prevent problems from developing.