Q: Should I drink cranberry juice all of the time, or only when I get an attack of bacterial cystitis?
A: Cranberry juice may be of help in preventing an attack as it has a bacteriostatic effect (inhibits bacterial growth). During an attack however, it has little effect. Beware of the high sugar content of some brands, as this may actually encourage the growth of bacteria.
Q: Will D-Mannose be helpful in preventing attacks of bacterial cystitis?
A: D-Mannose can help to prevent attacks of cystitis by encouraging E-Coli to attach to it rather than to the bladder lining. The E-Coli is then flushing out of the bladder when you void.
Q: I am prone to an attack of bacterial cystitis after sexual intercourse, what can I do to prevent this?
A: Tips to help you avoid cystitis following sexual intercourse include:
- Pass urine before and after sex (within 15 minutes).
- Wash before and after sex (this includes your partner). Remember that it is important to wash your hands as well as your genitals.
- If natural lubrication is a problem, lubricating gels can be purchased from a pharmacy.
- If a diaphragm is your method of contraception, then ensure that it is fitted correctly.
- If the problem persists despite these measures, your GP may recommend taking a single antibiotic tablet/capsule immediately following intercourse. This frequently helps to prevent the problem.
Bladder Health UK has a Cystitis handbook, available free for members – join us to receive a copy.