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Interstitial Cystitis

From the Pelvic Floor Articles List

interstitial cystitisWhat is interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial Cystitis, or IC, is also known as painful bladder syndrome. Symptoms of IC include intense pelvic pain, a persistent urgent need to urinate, many small urinations throughout the day and night, and pain during intercourse.

Causes of IC might include infection, trauma from pelvic surgery, autoimmune disorders, or inflammation of pelvic nerves. Though there is speculation that sexual abuse is a contributing factor to the development of IC, there is no proven connection. The condition is chronic, or ongoing, and there is no cure. However, there are ways to minimize the symptoms and manage IC well enough to restore one’s quality of life.

Treatment for IC begins with dietary restrictions to eliminate foods and drinks known to trigger IC flare-ups, such as citrus and cranberry juices, coffee, tea, sodas, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, and spicy foods. Other treatments include stress reduction, physical therapy, antihistamines, bladder instillations, immunosuppressants, and surgery. Surgery is considered a last resort since it is risky and does not always yield positive results.

Pain management is a large part of managing life with IC. Over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatories can help. Topical painkillers applied to the vaginal tissues can also help. These include patches and vaginal suppositories. For acute pain, your doctor may prescribe narcotic painkillers. Use these with caution as they often have unpleasant side effects and can be very addictive.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.


08-21-2011 - 10:45 PM


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