What is interstitial cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic bladder condition that causes pain in lower urinary tract which lasts for more than 6 weeks without having an infection or other clear causes. It causes pain and pressure in the bladder area. It is more common in women.
What are symptoms of interstitial cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis signs and symptoms include:
- Pain in your pelvis or between the vagina and anus in women
- Pain between the scrotum and anus in men (perineum)
- Chronic pelvic pain
- A persistent, urgent need to urinate
- Frequent urination, often of small amounts, throughout the day and night (up to 60 times a day)
- Pain or discomfort while the bladder fills and relief after urinating.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
What are treatment options for Interstitial cystitis?
Treatment for interstitial cystitis varies patient to patient. Same treatment plan does not work for all. You may need combinations of treatments before you find an approach that relieves your symptoms. Following are treatments used for interstitial cystitis –
Physical therapy –
Physical therapy is used to relieve pelvic pain associated with muscle tenderness, restrictive connective tissue or muscle abnormalities in your pelvic floor.
Oral medications –
Oral medications like Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Tricyclic antidepressants, Antihistamines, Pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron) are used to improve signs and symptoms of IC.
Following type of nerve stimulation techniques are used to reduce the pain :
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): In this method, mild electrical pulses are used to relieve pelvic pain and, in some cases, reduce urinary frequency. TENS helps to increase blood flow to the bladder, which strengthen the muscles that help control the bladder or trigger the release of substances that block pain.
Sacral nerve stimulation:
Sacral nerves connects spinal cord nerves to nerves in your bladder. Stimulating these nerves may reduce urinary urgency associated with interstitial cystitis.
Bladder distention is process of the stretching of the bladder with water. Some people notice a temporary improvement in symptoms after cystoscopy with bladder distention. If you have long-term improvement, the procedure may be repeated.
Surgery is rarely used to treat interstitial cystitis because removing the bladder doesn’t relieve pain and can lead to other complications.
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