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Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis — also called painful bladder syndrome — is a chronic condition causing bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pelvic pain that ranges from mild discomfort to severe. Although it can affect men, it most often affects women and can have a long-lasting impact on our quality of life. Its exact cause isn’t known and there’s no cure, but medications and other therapies may offer relief.

The signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis vary from person to person. If you have interstitial cystitis, your symptoms may also vary over time, periodically flaring in response to common triggers, such as menstruation, sitting for a long time, stress, exercise and sexual activity. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain in your pelvis or between the vagina and anus
  • 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.

Statistically, women with fair skin and red hair are at greater risk for interstitial cystitis. Most are diagnosed during their 30s or older and may suffer with other chronic pain disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia.

If you’re experiencing chronic bladder pain or urinary urgency and frequency, contact our office for an appointment.