Sexual health doctor sends heatwave hangover warning for painful bladder condition
People are being warned of a painful bladder infection that spikes at this time of the year due to hot weather, while sex and drinking alcohol also triggers it
People are being warned of a painful urinary condition that spikes during warm weather with sex and alcohol raising the chances of catching it.
With the recent run of hot and muggy weather during a holiday period, many Brits will have enjoyed a few drinks. But the following day they may have woken up with pain and an uncomfortable urge to urinate.
Millions suffer from cystitis, which tends to hit during the summer when people are dehydrated. It’s an inflammation of the bladder caused by a urinary tract infection. While anyone can get it, women are four times more likely to develop the condition.
As dehydration is one of the factors that leads to cystitis, drinking alcohol can also increase the chances of developing it, while sweating clearly encourages bacteria to grow. A study from the National Library of Medicine, in 2020, showed that cases of the condition rose up to 30% during hot weather.
Cystitis can be very painful and lead to a need to go to the toilet with dark urine produced that may also contain traces of blood. People may also suffer from high temperatures and feel tired.
Symptoms of cystitis include:
- pain, burning or stinging when you pee
- needing to pee more often and urgently than usual
- pee that’s dark, cloudy or strong-smelling
- pain low down in your tummy
Symptoms in young children may also include:
- a high temperature – they feel hotter than usual if you touch their neck, back or tummy
- wetting themselves
- reduced appetite and being sick
- weakness and irritability
Failing to drink enough water means that urine pH level is altered, and it can lead to bacteria remaining in the bladder. Sex also raises the chance of cystitis.
“Summer is a time when we tend to feel more relaxed and maybe drink more alcohol and eat salty snacks on picnics,” Dr Catherine Hood told the Sun, while adding: “Sex from behind [is] especially bad for women who suffer with recurring cystitis.
“Estimates show that sex-induced cystitis accounts for around 60% of recurrent cases, demonstrating sex as a key trigger of cystitis for millions of women in the UK. As cystitis is mostly caused by bacteria from the rectum, movements during sex help move these bacteria up the urethra into the bladder.”
An NHS list of factors increasing the chance of cystitis:
- having sex
- wiping your bottom from back to front after going to the toilet
- urinary catheters (a tube in your bladder used to drain urine)
- using spermicide with contraception
- conditions that block the urinary tract, such as kidney stones
- being pregnant
- conditions that make it difficult to fully empty the bladder, such as an enlarged prostate gland in men
- having been through the menopause
- having diabetes
- having a weakened immune system
Anyone developing mild cystitis can try taking paracetamol, and drinking plenty of water. People should seek medical help if they have high or low temperatures, pain in the lower stomach, feel confused, or have not urinated all day.