Interstitial Cystitis

What is Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis is also known as painful bladder syndrome. This is a chronic condition of pelvic pain and urinary symptoms. It usually begins with a process in the bladder and then becomes a chronic pain condition in the pelvis.

What causes Interstitial Cystitis?

There are several theories to explain how Interstitial Cystitis arises:

  • Role of infection
  • A “leaky” bladder lining
  • Mast cell activation
  • Abnormal immune reaction

What are the symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis?

Patients experience persistent symptoms such as those of a bladder infection but no bacterias are found in the urine. It is common for patients to feel abdominal pain which worsens when bladder gets filled with urine.

  • Pain, pressure or discomfort in the pubic area with bladder filling.
  • Frequent urination in the day and at night
  • Pain in the vagina which increases during sexual intercourse or during their menstruation

How can Interstitial Cystitis be diagnosed?

Interstitial cystitis is often a clinical diagnosis after ruling out other conditions causing pelvic pain or urinary pressure symptoms.

What is the treatment of Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial Cystitis is a chronic pain syndrome. Several conservative options can be used together to help with symptoms.

Pelvic floor rehabilitation
Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction can cause symptoms of interstitial cystitis. Pelvic floor rehab can be very helpful in these situations.

Oral medications
Different medication categories can be helpful in different patients. Use of antihistamines, overactive bladder medications, SSRIs has to be individualized according to patient’s symptoms.

Bladder hydrodistension:
Bladder distention is a treatment option which is done by instilling fluid in the bladder under pressure under sedation. This can help with pain in many patients

Bladder Instillation:
This involves instillation of  special medicines directly into the bladder to help heal the lining of the bladder which helps with pain.