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Monday, 24 September, 2001, 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK
Women terrified by cystitis
Cystitis attacks can cause extreme pain
Women suffering from the common and painful inflammatory illness cystitis often think they are suffering from something much worse, says a survey.

The so-called "honeymoon disease" can be caused by an infection, or allergy, and involves deeply painful inflammation of the bladder.

However, many women experiencing the burning or stinging symptoms believe they have picked up a sexually-transmitted disease.

Some think that it is something even worse, such as cancer.

A bout of cystitis can be a really frightening experience

Spokesman, Roche Consumer Health
A survey of university students found that 40% had believed that the illness was something more severe.

A spokesman for the manufacturer of an over-the-counter cystitis treatment, which comissioned the survey, said: "For first-time sufferers, this statistic emphasises that a bout of cystitis can be a really frightening experience."

Half suffer an attack

Almost half of women suffer cystitis at some point in their lifetime.

Most attacks last two to three days.

The attack may be triggered by sexual activity.

Other tips for dealing with a cystitis attack include drinking large amounts of water and avoiding spicy food, coffee, and alcohol.

One remedy is drinking cranberry juice, which contains a natural antibiotic.

Although cystitis generally clears up quickly, if symptoms, including discomfort on urination persist, then women are advised to seek help from their doctors, to rule out anything more serious.

In addition, Angela Kilmartin, from the Cystitis Information Bureau said: "Preventing future attacks is possible by following simply hygiene and lifestyle rules, although if the condition recurs it is important to see your GP as some forms of cystitis need more thorough investigation."

See also:

26 Nov 98 | Health
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Curb on antibiotics
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