Increased water intake can help prevent cystitis and reduce antibiotic use in women with recurrent infections who drink less than 1.5 litres of fluid a day, study results have shown
A randomised trial involved 140 premenopausal women who had experienced at least three cystitis episodes in the previous year and normally drank less than 1.5 litres of fluid per day. They were randomly assigned to either continue with their normal fluid intake or to consume an additional 1.5 litres of water per day.
During the 12-month study, the results of which were published in JAMA Internal Medicine (online, 1 October 2018), those assigned to the increased water intake group experienced significantly fewer episodes of cystitis, at a mean of 1.7 compared with 3.2 in the control group. The mean number of antimicrobial regimens was also lower at 1.9 and 3.6, respectively.
Increased fluid intake is commonly advised for women with cystitis; however, there is a lack of published evidence to support the practice.
“Our data confirm the benefit of increased water intake in reducing the risk of recurrent cystitis in women with a history of frequent recurrent cystitis who are low-volume fluid drinkers,” the researchers said.
Future research should explore whether women at lower risk of cystitis or who already consume larger quantities of fluids can also benefit, they added.