The FYI on UTIs
Answers to your burning questions about cystitis.
Did you know that 50% of women have at least one urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime? UTIs can affect different parts of the urinary tract, including your bladder, urethra and kidneys. The most common type of UTI is cystitis, the medical term for an inflammation of the bladder. One out of three women will have cystitis by the age of 24.
What are the symptoms? Cystitis causes an urgent, frequent need to pee, even if little or no urine comes out. It makes you feel burning or stinging when you pee. Your urine may have a strong smell and be dark-coloured or cloudy, and you may see blood in it. Cystitis can cause pain in the lower back, side or abdomen, or directly above the pubic bone. You may feel generally unwell and experience fever, chills, nausea and vomiting.
How can you get cystitis? It’s usually caused by bacteria such as E. coli or staphylococcus saprophyticus that travels through the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of your body) and into the bladder. Cystitis can also be caused by irritation or damage.
Is cystitis related to having sex? Women may develop cystitis after sex. Intercourse can push bacteria from the vagina into the urethra and bladder. Make sure to pee after sex and avoid spermicides and diaphragms (which increase your risk of a UTI).
How long does cystitis last? Mild cystitis usually clears up within 4-9 days. Moderate to severe cystitis may need treatment with antibiotics.
What can you do to feel better? Drink plenty of water to flush bacteria from your bladder. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and citrus drinks, and stay away from spicy foods until your infection goes away. Try putting a hot water bottle on your stomach or between your thighs.
Cystoplus® can help. Proudly Canadian, Cystoplus® is specifically indicated for the symptomatic relief of the burning pain and stinging associated with cystitis in adult women. While Cystoplus® isn’t a treatment for cystitis, it can help relieve the symptoms of UTIs. The active ingredient is sodium citrate, an alkalizing agent that decreases the acidity of the urine. Cystoplus® is available without a prescription, so you don’t have to wait for pain relief from cystitis. Simply dissolve the contents of one sachet of the cranberry-flavoured powder into a glass of water and drink it, 3 times a day, for 2 days. Even if your doctor prescribes an antibiotic to treat your cystitis, you can still use Cystoplus® to help relieve the painful symptoms while you’re taking the antibiotic.
How can you avoid UTIs? Here are some dos and don’ts to help you prevent UTIs:
- Don’t hold your pee in.
- Do empty your bladder completely.
- Do wipe from front to back.
- Do take showers rather than baths.
- Don’t use perfumed soaps, sprays, feminine products, shower gels or bubble baths around your genitals.
- Do wear cotton underwear, not underwear made of synthetic material like nylon.
- Don’t wear tight pants.
Seek medical advice if you suspect cystitis. For additional information, visit cystoplus.ca.