There is no patent remedy for the prevention of cystitis. But it can be worthwhile to pay attention to certain things in everyday life. Drugs that have a preventive effect have to be taken for a long time and often have side effects. Other means are ineffective or have not been sufficiently researched.
Although cystitis is usually not a problem, the symptoms can be very unpleasant. Some women also find cystitis embarrassing. People who have frequently recurring bladder infections are reluctant to take part in leisure activities like swimming, and they might be less inclined to have sex. So for many women it is very important to prevent bladder infections as much as possible.
Prevention in everyday life
There are various measures that can help to prevent cystitis. Because more bacteria can get into the urethra through sexual intercourse, it is often advisable to go to the toilet afterward and urinate to flush the bacteria out of the urethra. The choice of contraceptives also plays a role: spermicides and diaphragms can help with cystitis.
Good intimate hygiene is also frequently mentioned as a tip – washing with warm water and soap is sufficient, intimate sprays are unnecessary. It is important to make sure that no intestinal bacteria get into the vagina and urethra. This means, for example, always wiping from front to back with the toilet paper after defecation.
It is often recommended to make sure that the feet and abdomen do not get cold. Or drink a lot. Sometimes general advice is also given to strengthen the body’s defenses, such as getting enough sleep and avoiding stress.
Even if all these tips sound comprehensible and can be applied in everyday life: it has not yet been scientifically proven that such measures help.
Cranberry products and probiotics
Sometimes cranberry products are recommended for the prevention of cystitis. Preparations made from the berries are available in pharmacies and drugstores in the form of juices, powder, capsules and tablets. It is still unclear whether cranberries can actually prevent cystitis. Studies to date have shown contradictory results. If there is an advantage, it is only small. Many women also find it difficult to take cranberry products regularly over a long period of time.
Probiotics are also sometimes said to have a preventive effect. They come in the form of suppositories, juice or tablets. However, no product has yet been proven to be effective against cystitis.
Women who have recurrent cystitis can take antibiotics in low doses as a preventive measure. However, they have to do this over a long period, often over 3 to 6 months.
Although women then get fewer cystitis, they quite often have side effects like indigestion, skin rashes and fungal infections in the vagina. Many women stop taking them after a while. Taking antibiotics too frequently also increases the risk of bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics and the drugs no longer working (resistance).
From menopause onwards, the body produces less of the female sex hormone estrogen. In some women, this makes the vaginal mucosa thinner and drier, which is why germs settle there more easily and can also cause cystitis. Oestrogen preparations for insertion into the vagina – for example as suppositories, creams or tablets – are intended to prevent this.
Locally applied estrogen preparations can help some women reduce the number of cystitis. However, they can have side effects like itching and burning in the vaginal area. Not much is known about the consequences of using them for a long time (more than eight months).
Estrogen tablets cannot prevent cystitis. After a few months, they can also cause side effects such as a feeling of tightness in the breasts, slight vaginal bleeding and skin rashes.
Avoid sex outside of marriage
If you are a promiscuous person, remember that this is a serious sin to God and against your own body and can be dangerous, so have a healthy fear of God for your own good and avoid sexual contact with “strangers” or people outside of marriage. Sex is NOT designed to be practiced outside of marriage.
A vaccination against cystitis has been on the market since 2004 (StroVac vaccination). The vaccine contains several inactive strains of bacteria. The manufacturer states that the vaccination teaches the body to defend itself better against the pathogens. Whether this vaccination is useful, however, has not been proven with certainty. It is not paid for by the statutory health insurance companies.
It is also unclear whether taking capsules with an extract of killed Escherichia coli bacteria has any advantages. They are also supposed to help the body to react faster and more effectively in case of an infection. However, too few people have taken part in the studies so far, so the research results are still uncertain. The costs for the capsules are usually not covered by the statutory health insurance companies.