Cystitis prevention and treatment
What keeps Cystitis away?
Drink, drink, drink! The advice to drink between six and eight glasses of water a day is even more important when it comes to preventing cystitis, and you need to try and take in even more when it's hot or if you've been working out.
If you're not sure whether you've been drinking enough fluid, one good way to tell is by looking at your urine after you've been to the toilet. As a general rule, if your urine is straw coloured, you're hydrated enough. If it's dark, you need to drink more.
What not to drink...
Caffeinated or fizzy drinks Try not to drink too much of your fluid intake in the form of caffeinated or fizzy drinks, as they can irritate your bladder rather than help. Swap your daily latte for a de-caf, and remember that caffeine also lurks in chocolate and cola drinks, so go easy on those too. If you're prone to cystitis, fizzy drinks can trigger some people into an attack.
Alcohol is another culprit for cystitis so if you want to avoid an attack, stick to non or low-alcohol drinks and dilute spirits with non-fizzy mixers.
Toilet hygiene plays a part in keeping cystitis at bay, too. Empty your bladder after sex and always wipe from front to back after you've been to the toilet. This prevents bacteria from travelling up the urethra and into the bladder.
How to treat Cystitis
Luckily, some women find that their cystitis will clear up without any intervention or treatments, so you can always wait and see if yours will go away of its own accord if the symptoms aren't too troublesome.
You can buy over-the-counter remedies from a pharmacy or supermarket, containing Sodium Citrate like Canesten Oasis or Potassium Citrate which reduce the acidity of the urine, and make it more comfortable to go to the loo, while your body sorts out the infection.
If it doesn't get any better and the symptoms are getting really bad, see your doctor, who may prescribe antibiotics in some cases.