Cystitis Prevention

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD

Like urinary tract infections, cystitis is a preventable condition that can be avoided by following simple precautions.

Some of the steps that can be taken to prevent cystitis and other urinary tract infections include:

  • Maintaining personal hygiene and keeping the genital area clear. Women should remember to wipe from front to back to reduce the risk of contaminating the urinary tract with bacteria from the anus and rectum.
  • Increasing fluid intake to increase the frequency of urination and flush out bacteria from the bladder.
  • Refraining from urinating despite the urge to do so increases the risk of cystitis and urinary tract infections as this allows the bacteria time to multiply.
  • Exposing the genital area to chemicals such as those present in soap, bubble bath, and talcum powder can raise the risk of cystitis.
  • If diaphragm use is triggering cystitis, another form of contraception should be used. 
  • It is best to empty the bladder after sexual intercourse. This helps flush out the bacteria and reduces the risk of cystitis.
  • Underwear should be loose and made of cotton. Tight nylon underwear should be avoided. Similarly, it is best to avoid tight jeans and trousers.
  • Some foods such as coffee and spicy foods may make cystitis worse and should be avoided as much as possible by susceptible individuals.
  • Drinking cranberry juice has been shown to be beneficial in preventing urinary tract infections. This prevents bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary bladder and reduces the risk of infection. Cranberry extract tablets are available that provide the same benefits that the juice provides.
  • In people with recurrent cystitis, the bladder lining may be cauterized using a cystoscope in order to provide long-term relief.

Reviewed by , BSc

Further Reading

Last Updated: Mar 26, 2014

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