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Whittall Street Clinic is featured in Channel 4's new programme ‘The Sex Clinic’, starts 10pm Thursday 11th April.
New Rapid HIV Testing clinic at St Martin’s in the Bullring
Now open every Tuesday 11.00am - 3.15pm - no appointment needed.
The clinic is located upstairs in the St Martin’s Centre for Health & Healing next to the Church in the Bullring. Entrance to the clinic is via St Martin’s church shop.
Cystitis is inflammation of the lining of the bladder as a result of infection, irritation or damage. It can affect women and men, but is much more common in women. This is because women have a shorter urethra (the tube that goes from the bladder out of the body). Although cystitis may be related to sex, it is not a sexually transmitted infection.
Cystitis is more common in pregnant women, sexually active women and women after the menopause, but it can happen at any age.
Many women have at least one attack of cystitis in their lives, some women have lots of attacks. The first time you have cystitis you should see your GP for advice. If you go on to have cystitis more than three times in one year, you should see your GP again.
Cystitis is less common and a potentially more serious condition for men. Men should always see their GP if they have cystitis. For men the cause can be an underlying bladder or prostate infection, an obstruction or tumour, or an enlarged prostate. Untreated bladder infections can cause kidney or prostate infections and damage.
Sexually active gay men may be more likely to get cystitis than other males.
How is it passed on?
Cystitis can not be passed on through sex. The following reasons may lead to cystitis:
- Not emptying the bladder fully, this can cause bacteria to multiply, leaving bacteria in the bladder. This is especially common in pregnant women because of the pressure on their pelvic area
- Bacteria being pushed into the urethra in women, that can happen during sex or when a tampon is inserted
- Spreading germs from anus to urethra in women who wipe from back to front rather than front to back when in toilet
- A blockage somewhere in the urinary system that prevents complete emptying of the bladder
- In men, an enlarged prostate gland can cause a blockage, incomplete emptying of the bladder and bladder infections
In women, physical damage or bruising often caused by vigorous or frequent sex can lead to cystitis. This is sometimes called honeymoon cystitis.
Women who use a diaphragm are also more likely to get cystitis.
Symptoms of cystitis include:
- Pain, burning or stinging feelings when passing urine
- Needing to pee frequently and urgently, but only passing small amounts
- Urine which is dark, cloudy, or contains traces of blood
- Pain directly above the pubic bone, or in the lower back or abdomen
- Pain in the pelvis area or between the vagina and anus in women and the scrotum and anus in men
Older women may have none of the above symptoms, but may feel poorly, weak and feverish.
How is cystitis diagnosed?
Diagnosis of cystitis is made by growth of bacteria after culture of urine sample in the laboratory. In patients with symptoms, urine dipstick can also help in diagnosis of cystitis. Women can be diagnosed based on presence of symptoms of cystitis for long time.
What is the treatment for cystitis?
For bacteria identified after growth of urine sample in the laboratory, antibiotics should be used. Treatment course is normally for between three and five days. The symptoms should start to improve after the first day of treatment. It is best to repeat urine culture in the laboratory after treatment to ensure no more bacteria grows from urine. Your GP can treat you for cystitis.
Drinking plenty of water is often recommended as a treatment for cystitis.
We treat cystitis for free.
What are the complications of untreated cystitis?
Untreated cystitis can lead to chronic inflammation of the inner layer of bladder, and spread of infection to kidneys. Infection of the kidneys is a serious medical condition that requires hospital admission and intravenous antibiotics. Chronic (long term) inflammation of the inner lining of the bladder can lead to interstitial cystitis. This situation is a common reason for long term bladder pain and discomfort.
How can you protect yourself from cystitis?
Because of the anatomy of their genital organs, most women will have at least one episode of cystitis in their life. The following recommendations are considered to be especially useful for women:
- Sudden onset of cystitis might be caused by the weather change particularly when it gets colder. Protect yourself from the cold weather. Wear correct clothing, and insulated shoes.
- Discard synthetic underwear. Your panties should be made of cotton and washed with a non-bio detergent.
- Avoid feminine hygiene pads, bubble baths, hygiene solutions if they contain fragrances. Use of fragrant-free sanitary pads instead of tampons may provide better protection.
- Genital areas should always be clean. Women should not wipe their anus from back to front.
- Wash yourself after sex or swimming in the pool.