Cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder, is caused by a viral, fungal, or bacterial infection. Infection with E. coli bacteria accounts for an estimated 90 percent of all urinary tract infections in the United States. The National Kidney Foundation states that 1 in 5 women have suffered from cystitis, and approximately 80 percent of those women have experienced multiple episodes. Without treatment, cystitis can spread into the kidneys and cause serious illness.
Things You'll Need
- Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen
- Cranberry juice
How to Get Rid of Cystitis
Visit your doctor for a urine test if you experience symptoms of cystitis, such as bloody urine or frequent, painful urination. Because other conditions can mimic the symptoms of cystitis, a urine test to check for the presence of bacteria and to rule out other problems is essential.
Take antibiotics to clear up cystitis resulting from a bacterial infection. Your doctor will prescribe the most appropriate antibiotic for the bacteria present in your urine. It is important to take the entire course of medication, even if your symptoms improve before your prescription is finished.
Ask your doctor for a medication to help ease the symptoms of painful urination. Phenazopyridine can be taken for a few days to help with bladder discomfort and burning during urination. Take over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce bladder discomfort and pressure.
Increase your fluid intake to treat and prevent cystitis. According to the Mayo Clinic, cranberry juice may prevent urinary tract infections. Anyone currently taking warfarin should not drink cranberry juice due to a potentially dangerous interaction. Coffee, alcohol, caffeine, and citrus juices may cause bladder irritation and should be avoided.
Keep your vaginal area clean to help get rid of cystitis and prevent reinfection. Always wipe from front to back, use tampons instead of pads during menstruation, and urinate before and after sexual intercourse to flush bacteria from your urethra.
Wear loose-fitting, cotton undergarments to encourage air circulation. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, keeping the area as dry as possible inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi.
Avoid holding your urine, even if urination is very painful. This will delay healing and may worsen a bacterial infection.
Make an appointment with a urologist if your infection recurs frequently or fails to respond to antibiotics. In some cases, structural abnormalities in the urinary tract may cause cystitis, and these abnormalities must be treated to get rid of persistent or recurrent cystitis.