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What should I do if I have an attack of cystitis?

Almost all people who have recurring cystitis have nothing seriously wrong. People with more than three bouts a year may need to see a urologist.
Many people who suffer recurring bouts may simply do common things that make them more susceptible. Here are some steps you can take to help prevent cystitis:

– Drink as much fluid as you can to flush out the system, dilute the urine and reduce any stinging.
– For the first four hours try to drink a pint of water every hour even if the attack starts in the middle of the night.
– Then drink half a pint every two hours for the next eight hours.
– Drink bland fluids such as water, weak tea or fruit squash (avoid orange juice and carbonated drinks).
– Making the urine less acid will reduce any discomfort. Try a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in a glass of water or preparations containing citrate.
– Women with high blood pressure or heart trouble should not take either bicarbonate of soda citrate without first consulting their doctor.
– Go to the lavatory as much as you need to, don’t try to ‘hold on’.
– Keep warm and place a well-covered hot water bottle over your tummy or between your thighs. A second one hot water bottle at your lower back may also help.
– Take one or two aspirin or paracetamol tablets for the pain.
– Avoid alcohol and sexual intercourse until you feel better.
– Rest as much as possible.
– Avoid vaginal deodorants and douches, perfumed soaps, bubble bath and talc, these may irritate the urethra. Showering rather than bathing may be helpful.
– Avoid tight trousers or underwear, especially if they’re made from artificial fibres. Choose cotton underwear with stockings and looser clothes such as skirts.
– Wipe from front to back.
– Anything that obstructs or blocks the urinary tract, such as a kidney stone, can lead to repeated attacks of cystitis. Certain tests can detect these conditions. Treating the underlying cause may solve the problem.
– Any damage to the lower back area can affect the nerves connecting to the bladder and make it impossible to empty it completely.
– Change immediately from wet clothes like after swimming.

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