Maintaining proper hydration is crucial throughout the year. Still, it becomes even more important during summer to compensate for fluid loss through sweating.

Understanding Cystitis

Cystitis is an acute, subacute, or chronic inflammation that primarily affects the bladder, particularly in women. It can be extremely painful and bothersome, usually caused by bacterial infections, with E. coli being a common culprit. In rarer cases, the infection may be viral or fungal. 

When not associated with a bacterial infection, it is referred to as ‘interstitial’ cystitis, which factors like medications, radiation treatments, contact with chemicals, irritant molecules in intimate hygiene products, and spermicidal gels may trigger.

Symptoms of Cystitis

The main symptoms of cystitis include frequent urge to urinate, pain during urination, and the release of small amounts of urine. In some cases, additional severe symptoms may be present, such as:

– Bleeding in the urine

– Pain or pressure in the pelvic area

– Cloudy urine with a strong odor

– Mild fever

If these symptoms occur, seeking immediate medical attention from a specialist is necessary to prevent the inflammation from spreading to the kidneys.

Diagnosis and Treatment

To diagnose cystitis, a specialist will prescribe urinalysis and urine culture to confirm the presence and type of bacteria. Based on the patient’s medical history, further tests may be considered to identify any underlying conditions that could trigger cystitis. 

Treatment will vary depending on the cause and may involve:

Antibiotics for bacterial infections

Oral, instilled, or infiltrated drugs to reduce pain or frequency of urination in the case of interstitial cystitis

Prevention Tips

In addition to drinking plenty of fluids, especially during summer, here are some valuable tips for preventing cystitis:

– Maintain regular bowel movements.

– Respond promptly to the urge to urinate.

– Practice front-to-back wiping after using the toilet to prevent bacteria from the anal area from reaching the urethra.

– Observe heightened hygiene during menstruation and after sexual activity.

– Avoid using irritating products.

– Avoid holding urine for extended periods.

– Empty the bladder completely several times a day.

– Avoid wearing tight or synthetic undergarments and excessively tight pants, as they can cause overheating in the pelvic area, leading to local irritation, redness, itching, and potential injury from scratching—conditions that promote bacterial growth.

Following these preventive measures and maintaining proper hydration can significantly reduce the risk of cystitis, ensuring a more comfortable and healthy summer season.