There are a number of treaments available for cystitis, depending on the severity of the infection. Our women's health advisor Emma Thornton discusses the treatments available, including antibiotics, herbal remedies and self-help techniques.
Treatments for cystitis are usually very effective. The type of treatment required will vary depending on the severity of the infection, with some requiring antibiotics, and others being managed effectively at home. For this reason, if you have not had cystitis before, or do not know what has caused the infection, a trip to the doctor is often advisable so that the right type of treatment can be found for you.
As cystitis is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are a very effective treatment, and if you have not had cystitis before, have a weakened immune function, or have a particularly bad infection, then antibiotics are usually the best treatment option.
For some people with recurring mild infections, the doctor may suggest a low dose of continuous antibiotics, or prescribe antibiotics as a stand-by measure in case of an unexpected bout of cystitis.
Some people prefer not to take antibiotics due to potential side effects, such as thrush. In some cases, antibiotics are not necessary, and the symptoms can be effectively managed through other treatment options.
If the infection is not too severe, the condition can often be managed through self-help techniques or home remedies. It is generally advised to drink plenty of water, as this helps to flush the infection out of the bladder. Additionally, drinking a lot of water will dilute the urine, reducing stinging, burning or pain when going to the toilet.
Many people find that a hot water bottle held on their stomach, lower back or between their thighs can also help to reduce painful sensations. This can be because the heat helps muscles to relax as, during an attack of cystitis, the bladder muscles can contract more than normal. It is best to wrap the hot water bottle in a towel to make sure that you do not burn your skin.
Go to the toilet as often as you feel the urge, even if this is significantly more often than normal. Many people are reluctant to go to the toilet too often as it is painful, but emptying your bladder is important in order to remove the infection as quickly as possible.
Over-the-counter painkillers, including paracetamol and ibuprofen, can also help you to manage your symptoms. However, if you develop a fever, or your symptoms begin to worsen, then it is important to go to the doctor to ensure that the infection is being effectively managed.
Many people have found relief from cystitis through herbal remedies. Uva-ursi is a herb that works specifically on the bladder, and has been used traditionally for treating cystitis. It disinfects the bladder, helping to clear up infection, but can also be used long term to help prevent future bouts of bladder infections. This herb is available in licensed product A.Vogel Uva-ursi and Echinacea oral drops.
Additionally, cranberry is traditionally used in association with bladder complaints. It helps to prevent the bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder, so that when you urinate, you flush the bacteria out at the same time, helping to clear up the infection more quickly. Available in A.Vogel Cranberry Complex, it can be used alongside Uva-ursi.
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!).