Interstitial cystitis is a disruptive, chronic condition that looks a lot like a urinary tract infection (UTI) without actually being an infection. Interstitial cystitis causes inflammation in the bladder and can be made worse should a UTI occur. Also known as painful bladder syndrome, interstitial cystitis creates pressure and pain in the bladder and, in some cases, the pelvis.

What Are the Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis?

Some of the most common symptoms of painful bladder syndrome include:

  • Mild to severe pelvic pain
  • Urinary urgency
  • Bladder pain or discomfort
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Frequent urination

If you’re currently experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor today as you may be suffering from interstitial cystitis or another condition that needs treatment.

What Are the Causes of Interstitial Cystitis?

There is no one chief cause of interstitial cystitis. However, there are several conditions and risk factors that may be present in people who develop interstitial cystitis including:

  • Being 30 or older: interstitial cystitis is most common in people in their 30s or older
  • Sex: Females are diagnosed with interstitial cystitis more often than men
  • Chronic disorders: Having fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome or another chronic pain disorder may increase the likelihood of developing interstitial cystitis
  • Genetic Traits- people with red hair and fair skin often develop interstitial cystitis at a higher rate than other groups.

When to See a Doctor

Don’t wait for the signs of severe symptoms to seek medical advice. If you’re currently experiencing any of the symptoms above, contact your doctor today as you may be suffering from interstitial cystitis or another condition that needs treatment.

What Are the Treatments for Interstitial Cystitis?

There is a range of treatments which can be effective for treating and alleviating the symptoms related to interstitial cystitis.

Conservative Measures

These conservative measures may provide relief from some of the symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis:

  • Medications
    • NSAIDs
    • Certain antidepressants (tricyclic)
    • Antihistamines
    • Elmiron- FDA approved treatment for interstitial cystitis
  • Dietary changes
  • Bladder training
  • Reducing stress
  • Wearing more comfortable clothing
  • Smoking cessation
  • Exercise

Minimally Invasive Medical & Surgical Procedures

  • Bladder distension- the specialist inserts a small instrument into the bladder and enlarges the bladder by stretching it using water.
  • Nerve stimulation to reduce urinary urgency or pain
  • Bladder instillation where the specialist places a prescription medicine directly into the bladder.
  • Bladder resection where the surgeon inserts minuscule instruments through the urethra to cut around any ulcers present in the bladder
  • Fulguration where the surgeon similarly removes bladder ulcers with heat
  • Other surgical treatments- Ask your specialist about what treatment is right for you

How Advanced Gynecology Can Help

Our board-certified team of specialists and surgeons is here for you to diagnose the cause of your interstitial cystitis and work to find the best treatment plan for you.

For more information, schedule an appointment today or call 706-389-9228 to speak with one of our patient coordinators.

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