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Sorry guys, this is a LONG story.
Before 2011 I had had the occasional very mild case of cystitis. Maybe once every couple of years. Then on a family holiday in the US I developed extremely painful cystitis. You cannot imagine (or some of you probably can) the burning sensation and urgency. We had a doctor out twice on our travel insurance and she gave me two lots of antibiotics (the second once was stronger and eventually got rid), as well as some strange tablets that made my pee bright orange and took the sting off. I don't to this day know what these were because her handwriting on the labels was impossible to read.
Since then, back in the UK, I have had several severe flare ups that are just as painful. Most of the time I can connect these within 48 hours of sexual intercourse, since I have been in my relationship for 5 years and we were long-distance for 3 of them. It made it easy to work out what was to blame. Having said that I've had a couple of unrelated flare ups that might have been down to stress. I don't have periods since my progesterone only contraceptive pill has stopped them, so it's not likely to be PMS related.
7 weeks ago my partner and I moved in together and since then I've had two seperate flare ups with a couple of twinge-y days in between. The doctor gives me Trimethoprim and it seems to help almost straight away, however my dip-sticks and lab urinalisis always come back either negative or with just a few Leucocytes. After my last course of antibiotics I did a home dipstick and it still showed a moderate amount of leucocytes despite the symptoms having gone.
We have tried showering/peeing before and after sex and while it seems to help it hasn't this time around and I've woken up with lots of pain in the urethral department. I rarely get actual abdominal pain with these symptoms, only occasionally after the firsy couple of days there is a dull ache and the odd twinge. Instead I just have the most horrendous burning and urgency and when actually going it feels like I'm being sliced with a knife. It really depresses me and puts me off sex. Being in my 20s I feel pretty abnormal - I should be enjoying myself in that department
I had an ultrasound last November (lovely having to hold 1.5l of water in my bladder while the clinic was running late) and everything was normal. I've just recently been referred to the urology clinic for further investigation but haven't got an appointment yet.
The main reason that I don't think I have IC is that my symptoms seem purely urethral for the most part, but I'm not sure. What do you guys think? Being extra clean, avoiding strong soaps, drinking lots etc do seem to help and once my symptoms calm down I feel basically normal until the next bout. I had read a few things and wondered if the bad cystitis in 2011 has left my urethra etc scarred and sensitive to even small amounts of bacteria. My relationship/sex life were very normal until then. Diet wise I haven't made any changes as I eat consistently and it seems not to cause anything. Beer before bed can also make things sting but other alcohol doesn't.
I guess I just wondered what fellow sufferers think of my symptoms as my GP has no idea!
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