heterosexual couple kissing on a boat dealing with honeymoon cystitis.


Don’t let cystitis interrupt the honeymoon

If you've ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI)—and half of women have—you know the symptoms:

  • burning or painful sensation during urination
  • urge to go frequently
  • pain above the pubic bone
  • cloudy or blood-tinged urine

Cystitis is a common form of UTI that can happen after a woman's first sexual encounter or after a period of abstinence, which is how it earned the nickname, "honeymoon cystitis."

Cystitis in women is common

It is more common among women in their 20s, but is also seen in older women re-entering the dating scene. In addition to being very uncomfortable, if left untreated, cystitis can lead to bladder or kidney infection. Why don’t men seem to get cystitis? Women are more prone to UTIs than men because of their anatomy; the female urethra is short and therefore it’s easier to allow bacteria to enter the bladder. 

Treatment for honeymoon cystitis

Cystitis can usually be treated quickly with an online visit, like Allina Health Everyday Online. This is especially convenient if symptoms start after clinic hours or over the weekend, since online visits have 24-hour access. Once your doctor confirms cystitis, he or she will likely prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection. In very painful cases, a short-term pain reliever may be prescribed. I advise women to abstain from sex until the infection clears up.

How to avoid contracting cystitis

Drinking plenty of water and urinating often helps to flush out the bladder and urethra to eliminate bacteria. And it helps to urinate immediately after sex to help expel any bacteria that might have gotten into the urethra. 

If you are susceptible to UTIs, try to maintain a healthy immune system and avoid drinking too much coffee, soda and fruit juice if they irritate your bladder. Some people report drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis can help protect them from cystitis, but cranberry juice does not actually cure a bladder infection once you've got one.


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To pee or not to pee? Find help to control an overactive bladder

Do pelvic floor exercises, or Kegels, really help prevent urine leaks? Yes, Kegels and other pelvic floor therapy and treatment can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and prevent some of the embarrassing symptoms of an overactive bladder. Doing a set of 10 squeezes, 2-3 times a day and when urges occur, can help calm your urge to pee and help you get to the bathroom in time.

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