What Is Honeymoon Cystitis?
Cystitis is the medical name for inflammation of the bladder. Typically, this inflammation occurs as a result of bacterial infection and is classified as a urinary tract infection. You can read more about what cystitis is in our article that covers how to prevent & treat it. Honeymoon cystitis (or "honeymoon disease") though can occur when a woman has sex for the first time or has sex after a long time without any sexual activity. During sex, E.coli bacteria which tend to live on the skin around your anus can be transferred to your urethra (for example via your partner's fingers or penis).
How Common Is Honeymoon Cystitis?
Half of all women get cystitis at least once in their lives. However, honeymoon cystitis only causes bladder infection in 4% of cases. Honeymoon cystitis remains more common among young women in their 20s, although single women in their 50s are increasingly reporting that they suffer from the problem. The risk of honeymoon cystitis increases if someone starts having sex again after not doing so for a long time. Condoms are not known to offer any protection against honeymoon cystitis.
Why Do I Get Cystitis After Sex?
The rubbing during sex can cause bacteria from the genital area and anus to come into contact with the urethra. This can move toward the bladder and trigger cystitis. In addition, vaginal dryness during sex can lead to inflammation of the mucous membranes, making them more vulnerable to infection. In that case using a water-based lubricant like Oomf is best in avoiding the irritation of the mucous membranes.
Why Men Don't Get Honeymoon Cystitis
Women are much more at risk of bladder infection because their urethra is much shorter than the male urethra, making it easy for E.coli bacteria to reach the bladder. Men don't commonly get cystitis without suffering from a more serious underlying health problem.
Signs and Symptoms of Honeymoon Cystitis
Some of the symptoms and signs of honeymoon cystitis are as follows:
- A strong and persistent desire to pass urine
- A sensation of burning while passing urine
- Passing a small quantity of urine frequently
- Hematuria (presence of blood in your urine)
- Foamy urine
- Urine with a strong smell
- Pelvic discomfort
- Low-grade fever
- Feeling discomfort or pressure in the lower abdominal region
What Is the Treatment for Honeymoon Cystitis?
If the cause of honeymoon cystitis is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are the usual treatment. Management of noninfectious cystitis depends on the primary cause of cystitis.
Treating bacterial honeymoon cystitis
Antibiotics are the first-line treatment for honeymoon cystitis. The medication prescribed and the length of treatment depend on your general health and the type of bacteria causing the infection.
First-time honeymoon cystitis
often shows a significant improvement of symptoms within one or two days of starting antibiotic therapy. It may be necessary to take antibiotics for anywhere from three days to one week depending on the severity of the infection.
Complete the course of antibiotic treatment as prescribed to make sure that the bacterial infection is cured completely.
For recurrent urinary tract infections
The physician may prescribe longer duration antibiotic treatment. They may also refer you to a nephrologist or urologist. A urologist may check to see if abnormalities of the urinary tract are the cause of repeated infections. Some people may find taking one dose of an antibiotic drug after having sexual intercourse helpful, but this should only be done if recommended by a doctor.
Can You Have Sex When You Have a UTI?
Sex is not contraindicated during urinary tract infection as it’s not contagious. Treating the infection before having sex is recommended as vaginal penetration may increase the pain and worsen the symptoms.