UTI explained: Washing your body like THIS can reduce cystitis risk

Cystitis is a common, painful problem which affects 75 per cent of women at some point in their lives.

However, symptoms and severity can vary from person to person, and it can also appear in children and men.

“It is essentially inflammation of the bladder,” said Dr Renee Hoenderkamp, a GP, in the latest video ‘Cystitis and Interstitial Cystitis’ on her YouTube channel, Dr Renee.

“More often than not it is caused by a bacterial infection - usually E. coli which comes from our own bowels.”

People may get lots of different symptoms, or only experience a couple.

“They include a terrible burning pain when you’re passing urine, needing to go to the toilet more often, pain in your abdomen, fever, back pain, blood in your urine and really smelly urine,” explained Dr Renee.

There are a number of factors that can increase a woman’s risk of cystitis.

“Being sexually active causes the bacteria to spread around more easily and cling to the lining of the uterus, with using a diaphragm for contraception, having had female genital mutilation, being pregnant, using tampons, douching and going through the menopause other things that can increase the likelihood you might suffer,” she said.

“In men having an enlarged prostate gland can up your risk.”

For men and women, having kidney stones, radiotherapy, a urinary catheter and being immunosuppressed can increase your risk.

Additionally, having diabetes can also make you more likely to experience a problem since bacteria are drawn to blood that has more sugar in it.

She said that often cystitis will get better on their own.

“Over the counter remedies for the condition also work for some women, but I find D-Mannose - a natural remedy - that stops bacteria clinging on and causing an infection,” said Dr Renee.

“However, you should see your GP if you’re not sure it’s a urine infection, if you’re pregnant, if you are a man or child, and if you are getting fevers and feeling increasingly worse.”

They will often prescribe antibiotics.

“You can lower your risk by taking a shower rather than a bath, using a lubricant during sex, going to the toilet straight after sex, wiping front to back and avoiding douching,” she advised.

There aren’t many complications with cystitis, but they can lead to a kidney infection and sepsis, a life-threatening infection.

It can also cause interstitial cystitis - a debilitating condition that affects 400,000 women mainly in their 30s and 40s.

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