Cystitis causes inflammation of the lining of the bladder and surrounding tissues and can sometimes lead to pain in the pelvic area. On this page, women's health advisor Emma Thornton discusses why this symptom occurs, and what you can do to alleviate it.
The pelvic region is the lowest band of your abdomen, just below your tummy button, containing reproductive organs, the bowel and bladder.
Depending on the cause, pain in this region can be felt as sharp stabbing pain, or more of a general ache. If cystitis is the root cause, pelvic pain is often described as achy or as intense pressure in the area, perhaps spreading to your back. Often the pain worsens if the bladder is full.
Cystitis is a bacterial infection of the bladder. Often the infection is relatively mild and the body can fight it off within a week. However, sometimes the infection can be more severe and the bladder lining can become inflamed, resulting in pelvic pain or pressure.
For this reason, this symptom should be checked with a doctor to prevent any long term damage to the bladder.
In addition, pelvic pain can have many causes, ranging from cysts and fibroids to appendicitis and hernias, so ensuring that you understand the root cause is important to enable you to get the appropriate treatment.
Once you have a diagnosis of cystitis from your doctor, there are several techniques you can try at home to ease your discomfort.
If you notice that your pain worsens when your bladder is full, try to empty your bladder when you feel the urge to go, as this will prevent a build-up of urine in the bladder. Make sure that you drink enough water too, to help flush the infection out of your system.
Certain types of food can irritate the bladder more than others and so, if you notice increased pain after certain food types, take steps to eliminate these from your diet. This may include citrus fruit, refined sugar or spicy foods. Triggers can vary from person to person, so keeping a food diary with symptoms can help you to identify which foods aggravate or improve your symptoms.
It is important to get symptoms of pelvic pain checked by a doctor before taking any herbal remedies to understand fully the root of the problem. If the doctor gives a diagnosis of a bladder infection or cystitis, then there are herbal remedies you can try to ease your symptoms.
Uva-ursi is a herb which passes through the body until it reaches the bladder, then changes its chemical structure and disinfects the bladder, helping to clear it of infection. Fresh extracts of this herb are available in licensed herbal remedy A.Vogel Uva-ursi and Echinacea oral drops.
Pelvic pain should be checked by a doctor. It is likely that a doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help clear the infection. For people who are prone to recurring infections, the doctor may suggest a continual low dose of antibiotics, or give a prescription for stand-by antibiotics in the event of a recurring infection.
A doctor may also suggest taking painkillers to reduce discomfort in the pelvic region. These are usually available over-the-counter, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Hello my name is Emma and I am a qualified nutritionist. My areas of interest include female health and weight management.
I have a passion for healthy living and a holistic approach to health. I enjoy writing for the A. Vogel website, translating my knowledge into informative pages.
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Cystitis is sometimes known as ‘honeymoon cystitis’. Why? Well, during sex, bacteria can spread from the perineum to the urethral opening. The risk of developing cystitis is therefore increased depending on the frequency you have intercourse (sorry honeymooners!).