Change Your Habits to Prevent Cystitis

02 November, 2020
Proper hygiene and good nutrition are determining factors if you want to prevent cystitis. Do you experience this infection often? Discover some keys to avoid it.

Did you know that you can prevent cystitis by changing some of your routine habits? You may not know it, but your lifestyle and how you care for yourself are key when it comes to avoiding this type of infection.

If you’ve ever experienced cystitis, then you’ll know how painful and uncomfortable it can be. So much so, in fact, that it can be difficult to perform your daily tasks. Therefore, it’s important to know what causes cystitis and how to deal with it.

Let’s take a closer look.

How do I know if I have cystitis?

The medical term “cystitis” refers to inflammation of the bladder due to, in most cases, microbial infection. Of course, the symptoms of this illness can vary in each patient, depending on the severity of the infection. Just the same, according to the Mayo Clinic, there are often certain general clinical manifestations that allow for its identification:

  • Need to urinate
  • Burning sensation with urination
  • Frequent and low volume urination
  • Cloudy urine and unpleasant odor
  • Discomfort around the pelvis
  • Sensation of pressure in the lower abdomen
  • Fever
A woman with abdominal pain.
The main symptom of cystitis is a strong need to urinate. However, it can also cause pain, changes in urine, and moderate fever.

If you recognize these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible as you may need specialized treatment.

Why does cystitis occur?

To prevent cystitis, you need to know what causes it. In that sense, depending on the trigger, we can classify cystitis as:

Bacterial cystitis

This is the most frequent cause, and occurs when bacteria that are normally present outside the urinary tract enter the urethra.

In most cases, the bacterium that causes cystitis is Escherichia coli (E. Coli).

You may be interested in: Why Is It Important to Treat a Urinary Tract Infection Early?

Non-infectious Cystitis

There are also non-infectious factors that can cause the inflammation of the bladder.

  • Interstitial or chronic cystitis. Also known as “painful bladder syndrome”. This condition can be difficult to diagnose and treat.
  • Medication.
  • Chemicals. Appear as a result of hypersensitivity to chemicals in bubble baths, feminine hygiene sprays, or spermicidal gels.
  • Foreign bodies. Prolonged use of a catheter or urinary catheters can cause damage to bladder tissue and lead to bacterial infections.
  • Other conditions. Cystitis occurs as a complication of other conditions, such as diabetes, kidney stones, an enlarged prostate, or spinal cord injury.

The treatment of cystitis consists mainly of the administration of antibiotics. However, there are also some natural remedies that you can use as a complement to relieve uncomfortable symptoms.

Read also: Urinary Tract Infections in Children

Changes in your daily habits to prevent cystitis

Sometimes, all you need to do to prevent cystitis is to make a few changes to your daily routine. Studies like one by Dr. Valdevenito have shown that, in addition to containing antioxidants, cranberries may help prevent urinary tract infections.

Likewise, a team from the University of Barcelona affirms that these properties have to do with its high content in proanthocyanidins (PAC). This is a group of polysaccharides that inhibits the activity of E. Coli bacteria, preventing their adhesion to the cells of the urinary tract.

Cranberry juice helps prevent cystitis.
Cranberry juice contains essential nutrients that help treat infections such as cystitis.

So, consuming this fruit would therefore be a useful habit to adopt in order to prevent cystitis. What’s more, according to the National Library of Medicine in the United States, it’s important to take into account other considerations:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water
  • Urinate frequently
  • Don’t stay in wet clothes too long when you come back from the beach or pool
  • Dry yourself from front to back after bowel movements
  • Gently wash the skin around your vagina and anus
  • Try to empty your bladder as soon as possible after sex – this helps remove any bacteria.
  • Finally, avoid using deodorant sprays or feminine products in the genital area – these products can be dangerous

Modify your habits to avoid cystitis

So, it’s a good idea to make certain changes in your routine, especially regarding hygiene, urination habits, and diet. Fortunately, you can reduce your probabilities of suffering an infection by practicing preventive measures that are easy to apply in daily life.

In conclusion, it’s important to maintain proper balance and routine. On the one hand, bladder infections are unlikely to lead to complications if you treat them quickly and properly. However, if this doesn’t occur, they can lead to more serious conditions, such as kidney infection.

  • Mandell GL, et al. Urinary tract infections. In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 13, 2015.
  • Hooton TM. Uncomplicated urinary tract infection. New England Journal of Medicine. 2012;366:1028.
  • Ahuja, S., Kaack, B. and Roberts, J. Loss of fimbrial adhesion with the addition of Vaccinium macrocarpon to the growth medium of p-fimbriated E. coil . Journal of Urology , 1998. 159: 559-562.
  • Allision, D.G., et al. Influence of cranberry juice on attachment of Escherichia coli to glass. Journal of Basic Microbiology , 2000. 40 (1): 3-6.
  • Clínica Mayo. https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/diseases-conditions/cystitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20371306
  • Biblioteca Nacional de Medicina de Estados Unidos. https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/ency/patientinstructions/000391.htm
  • Valdevenito, Juan Pablo. (2008). Infección urinaria recurrente en la mujer. https://scielo.conicyt.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0716-10182008000400004