Honeymoon cystitis is the colloquial name for a bladder or urinary tract infection (UTI). Cystitis is the most common UTI and the second most frequent infection in the body. It is often referred to as honeymoon cystitis because frequent sexual activity is a leading cause of bladder infection. While it can be annoying and painful, cystitis is an easily treatable condition.
Cystitis is the medical term that describes inflammation of the bladder. There are a couple of types of cystitis that can develop from sexual activity. Traumatic cystitis develops due to bruising of the bladder. This can arise from forceful or frequent sexual activity. Another type is bacterial cystitis, the most commonly diagnosed form of cystitis. Bacterial cystitis develops when Escherichia coli (E.coli) is introduced to the bladder through the urethra during sexual intercourse or because of poor hygiene. When bacteria enter the urinary tract, an infection develops and it becomes irritated and inflamed.
There are several symptoms associated with cystitis, including pain or a burning sensation during urination, cloudy or strong-smelling urine, constant urge to urinate, pain or pressure in the pelvic area and a low-grade fever. One or more of these symptoms may be an indication of a bladder infection. Call your doctor at the first signs of cystitis. If left untreated, the infection may spread through the urinary tract system to the kidneys. Kidney infections are much more serious and may permanently damage the kidneys.
Cystitis is diagnosed by urinalysis or with a urine culture. Both procedures are painless and only involve providing a urine sample for your physician. The urine sample is analysed for signs of infection. If bacteria or white blood cells are present, it indicates infection. A urine culture may be ordered if a more complicated infection is suspected or if the symptoms do not respond well to the first round of treatment, which is generally an antibiotic.
If an infection has developed, antibiotics are prescribed to control bacterial growth. Antibiotics work quickly to clear up cystitis. Even if the symptoms have dissipated, it is necessary to finish all of the medication to prevent regrowth of the bacteria. Physicians may also prescribe Phenazopyridine, a chemical used to alleviate pain associated with cystitis.
There are several ways to prevent honeymoon cystitis. The most effective way is to urinate and gently wash the genital area immediately after intercourse. This will remove any bacteria before they have the opportunity to grow. Other tips include wiping from front to back after using the bathroom to keep bacteria from entering the urethra, drinking plenty of fluids and urinating frequently. Holding urine in for long periods of time can encourage bacterial growth. Drinking cranberry juice or taking tablets that contain proanthocyanidin may also reduce the risk of cystitis.