If you suffer from interstitial cystitis, also called painful bladder syndrome, you know all too well the chronic feelings of pressure and pain in your pelvic region that can make daily function a challenge. At the Center for Urogynecology and Female Pelvic Health, in Venice, Florida, expert urogynecologist John Devine, MD, diagnoses and treats interstitial cystitis to help relieve your discomfort. Call the office or request an appointment online to learn how your symptoms can be resolved today.

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What is interstitial cystitis?

Those who suffer from interstitial cystitis are mainly female. The condition occurs when the protective barrier protecting your bladder becomes inflamed or damaged. You feel the need to urinate more often than normal because of the discomfort, and you only urinate a small amount when you do go because of the increased frequency

The cause of interstitial cystitis is not fully understood. Women who are in their 30’s or older are more likely to get the condition.  Chronic pain disorders, such as fibromyalgia, may increase the development of the condition.

What are the symptoms of interstitial cystitis?

Symptoms vary from woman to woman, and they may flare up or be chronic. Common symptoms include:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Severe discomfort when your bladder fills up
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain between the vagina and anus, and in pelvic floor muscles
  • Persistent need to urinate

These symptoms may flare  around your period or after exercise or sexual activity. You may mistake interstitial cystitis for a urinary tract infection.

How is interstitial cystitis treated?

While there is no cure for interstitial cystitis, symptoms can be managed and minimized. Physical therapy, oral medications, and nerve stimulation are some examples of treatment. These may be done as a combination to find the right treatment for you.

Dr. Devine may have you make dietary changes to eliminate foods that irritate your bladder.  Easy exercise, quitting smoking, and reducing stress can also reduce the symptoms of interstitial cystitis.

Other therapies for interstitial cystitis include bladder instillation, in which a prescription medication or combination of medications and a local anesthetic are inserted directly into your bladder with a catheter.

If you have symptoms of interstitial cystitis, call the Center for Urogynecology and Female Pelvic Health, or request an appointment online.