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How I Handled Recurrent Cystitis

How I Handled Recurrent Cystitis

This weeks’ guest blog tackles the elephant in the bathroom: cystitis. If you’ve ever brushed off that sinking feeling of needing to pee multiple times in an hour, aches and pains below the belt, you'll understand exactly where cystitis-battling warrior Cherelle is coming from. She shares an insight into her own journey with recurrent symptoms and how she's tackled them:

"I’m 24 and at my very first ‘proper job’ in an office. My tongue is fuzzy from the litre of cranberry juice I’ve slowly siphoned through a reusable straw, the tang of metal merging with the tart, sweetened drink I’ve always turned to at the first twinges below my knicker line. I’m sure everyone in my tiny office wonders why my lips are a stark fuchsia and how I can sustain that many trips to the toilet. I work in IT and its the year 2012, so the team is 99% men and my colleagues just wouldn’t get it, even if I tried to explain. Frankly, I didn’t know the answer myself.

This continued as I hurtled through my twenties, enduring flare-ups here and there but nothing I thought I couldn’t handle. It was probably the silly nylon knickers I just couldn’t not buy that had diamante butterflies on the front (I've learnt my lesson!). Maybe that that dirty weekend where I was too lazy to pee after sex every-single-time, too.

Properly talking about how to look after your vagina wasn’t a thing when I was at school. The teachers still make jokes about periods as 'women’s troubles’ and sent us away with hefty sanitary towels, but not a whisper about the other stuff that goes on like cystitis, thrush or anything like that. It’s no wonder I presumed this was normal.

It was only when I hit 31 that I couldn’t ignore the fact that something wasn’t right. After years of cold baths to suppress aches and shaking off dull, lingerng pains in my abdomen, it was time to face up to the fact that this wasn’t right at all. I thought it was something that just happened and armed with snatched tidbits from conversations in gym changing rooms, set about downing fruit juices, and taking cold showers in an attempt to ride it out. 

It was only when I finally went to my GP and she identified it as recurrent cystitis that everything made sense. If you're wondering 'will a UTI go away on its own?', there's treatment and relief available. With medical guidance, I’ve been able to adjust my lifestyle to significantly alleviate most of the cystitis symptoms I was seeing on a monthly basis. If you’re unsure of anything to do with your intimate health, just go and see a doctor - it was the best thing I ever did and more importantly, you could potentially catch and treat a condition before it affects you permanently."

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