Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Is cold weather associated with cystitis?"
I got my first case of cystitis last winter, and now that it has turned cold again I have cystitis yet AGAIN. Is it actually caused by the cold? If so, is this just a matter of my dressing inappropriately for the climate? What preventive practices should I know to keep this from ever happening again?
Cystitis is a broad term that refers to inflammation of the bladder. There are many different types of cystitis: 1) Infectious cystitis (which is more commonly known as urinary tract infection) 2) Interstitial cystitis (a condition whose cause is unknown where there are symptoms of cystitis with negative urine cultures) 3) Hemorrhagic cystitis (heavy bleeding of the bladder, usually a side-effect of other medications) 4) Eosinophilic cystitis (a rare condition where a certain kind of white blood/immune cell infiltrates the bladder wall) None of the forms of cystitis are seasonal or have associations with cold. Infectious cystitis is the most common type of cystitis.
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If this is, in fact, the type of cystitis that you are experiencing, there may be practices in the cold that are predisposing you to these. Tight-fitting underwear has been associated with urinary tract infections. You may try to stay warm while wearing underwear that doesn't fit quite as tightly against your genitalia. Also, sexual intercourse, which some people have more of during the winter months, can be associated with urinary tract infections. To help prevent this, make sure to urinate immediately after sex to clear the urethra. You should see your primary care physician or a urologist about this issue, as the type of bacteria growing out of your urine can help guide advice and treatment.
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