Hannah- a trustee of COB
(cystitis and overactive bladder foundation)
As a recurrent bacterial cystitis sufferer for the last decade, I have spent countless hours and even more of my hard-earned cash chasing the elusive herbal solution to the problem. Fed up of hours in the doctors surgery and the unwanted effects of regular courses of antibiotics, I tried everything from chamomile tea to regular cranberry supplements, from bearberry to marshmallow root. I had come to accept that the medical route was the only successful one in beating each infection, however each course of antibiotics hit my immune system and made my bladder more vulnerable to further infection.
After a cystoscopy and urethral stretch in June 2010, I was found to have mild interstitial cystitis with glomerations on the bladder as well as a history of confirmed bacterial cystitis. After leaving the hospital I was given a three month course of antibiotics to help prevent infection after the operation; I was considered at high risk of bacterial infection thanks to the operation and it was also hoped that three months clear of all infection would leave my bladder better able to heal the damage it had already suffered. Like my urologist, I hoped my IC was in fact damage from constant bacterial infection that could yet be repaired.
The side effects of this course were so significant that, once it was over, I was determined never to suffer another infection again. I had heard about Cysticlean through the COB Foundation discussion boards, and decided to try it. At first I took it occasionally, but did not commit to the full course. However, at that time I was not intimate with my partner, due to all the trauma of my bladder problems. When I heard that the COB Foundation was working with Cysticlean to test the product I decided to have a second go. For the first three months I took it every night, as advised, before bed. Within weeks my frequency dropped and I now only need to use the toilet a little more regularly than I used to before my nightmare of constant infection began.
I have not had a confirmed infection in more than a year, and since using Cysticlean I have become more confident in my personal life and am intimate on a regular basis again. I've got my life back! Now the first three months of the trial is over I simply take one a night for the first few evenings after intimacy. So far, so good!
There are some drawbacks for me: the on-going cost to purchase the product, and because I have mild IC as well as BC, I do have a slight increase in burning on urination in the morning because cranberry is acidic. However, for me, this is more than offset by the confidence I now feel in managing my bladder health, and in reduced frequency. My job as a newspaper journalist requires me to travel regularly, and it is such a relief to not have to stop every hour for the bathroom.
This product may not be right for everyone, however it is far less irritating to me and my bladder than the cranberry products I have tried in the past from regular health food shops. I believe that, in stopping the cycle of recurrent infection which caused my IC, it is also giving my bladder the time it needs to heal. Let there be no mistake - my bladder is not 'normal' and probably never will be. But my condition is so much easier to manage than before I took Cysticlean. *See disclaimer