Why Honeymoon Cystitis Only Affects Women

Honeymoon cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder that at times can trigger a bladder infection. This particular type of cystitis occasionally occurs as a result of having had sexual intercourse. There are a number of different causes of cystitis, and both men and women can experience the disorder. Honeymoon cystitis however affects only women, and it is so named because many of those who experience this disorder do so during or shortly after their honeymoon.

Sexual History Can Often Play A Role

Just why this occurs has something to do with a woman's past sexual history. The disorder appears mostly to affect those women who have had little or no previous sexual experience, and all of a sudden become engaged in frequent sessions of sexual intercourse over a period of several days or weeks. The disorder is therefore quite apt to make itself known following a honeymoon, or even in the midst of a honeymoon, and can often make sexual intercourse extremely uncomfortable, and sometimes even something to be feared. For some women, honeymoon cystitis may be a one time event. For an unfortunate few it can be a recurring problem, and it may at times require temporary abstinence from sexual activity if the symptoms are severe enough. One estimate has 50% of women experiencing this particular type of cystitis at least once during their lifetime, with a quarter of those experiencing the disorder experiencing it at least once more, if not several times more.

An Introduction Of Bacteria Is The Cause

The inflammation results when unfriendly bacteria are introduced into the urethra, which can happen during sexual intercourse. The bacteria in question is generally a type of E. coli, which is mostly found in the bowels. Should this bacteria gain entrance into the urethra, it suddenly finds itself in a very hospitable place in which it can multiply. Within a day or two of its introduction, the bacteria can begin to cause problems.

Unfortunately, many physicians are somewhat dismissive of this disorder, which falls with the general category of a urinary tract infection. It is sometimes dismissed as a one-time event, something that goes along with going on a honeymoon. To others it is simply a “woman's problem”; one of those problems what will simply go away and, hopefully, never return.

Honeymoon Cystitis - Not A Male Problem

It was mentioned in the beginning that both men and women can experience the symptoms of cystitis. This is true, but when men get cystitis it's from other causes, and not from having sex. Men therefore never experience honeymoon cystitis, although more than a few have probably suffered some from the potential fallout, if their mates no longer find having sex appealing, or in some cases, bearable.

Cystitis is generally harmless, unless its symptoms are severe enough to cause psychological problems. It can potentially become a serious health problem however should the inflammation in the urethra or the bladder become infected, and should that infection be allowed to spread into the kidneys.

The Symptoms Of Cystitis

Cystitis symptoms can run the gamut from mild, to bothersome, to extremely painful. What is worse, since sexual activity is the usual trigger, a woman’s sex life can become a shambles, as can also become the case for her sexual partner. The symptoms one might experience are those symptoms which are quite common to many types of urinary tract infection. When the bladder becomes either inflamed or infected, there will often be a persistent urge to urinate. This urge can become quite strong at times. When one does urinate, a burning sensation may be experienced, and since urinating may become somewhat frequent, only small amounts of urine may be passed at any one time. The urine itself may have a very strong or unpleasant smell, it may be cloudy, or it may even contain blood. Blood in the urine is rare however in cases where the cystitis has been caused by bacteria, as is the case with honeymoon cystitis.

Other symptoms that may be experienced include pain or pressure being felt in the lower abdomen, or in the pelvic area. Sometimes, a person with a urinary tract infection will develop a fever, although it is seldom a high fever. Should the fever begin to significantly increase however, and if one is feeling pain in the back or on one side, a doctor should be called immediately, as it is quite likely the infection may have spread to the kidneys.

The Usual Treatment – Antibiotics

The usual method of treatment for this type of cystitis is the administration of antibiotics. If the disorder is a first-time event, the condition may clear up in a day or so. A doctor will generally recommend that the antibiotics be taken for several days longer, or perhaps a week, to make certain the infection has been satisfactorily dealt with. Some women are at a higher risk than others of experiencing cystitis on a more frequent basis following sex, and not just during or after a honeymoon. In such cases, stronger medications, or a continual use of antibiotics may be required.