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Painful Bladder Syndrome – It’s Not All In Your Head

Many women live with the symptoms of bladder conditions in silence. Many are either too embarrassed to discuss issues such as interstitial cystitis (IC), also called painful bladder syndrome, with a physician or believe symptoms are just part of getting older.

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is one of the more puzzling bladder conditions women face, affecting approximately eight million young and middle-aged women in the U.S. IC is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder lining that causes pain and pressure in the pelvic area around the bladder and is often confused with chronic bladder infections.  For many women, IC interrupts their normal daily activities because of the need to stay close to a bathroom and often experience a constant feeling of discomfort or pain.

What is often most frustrating about this condition is that no exact cause has been pinpointed. While there is no cure for IC, the female urology specialists at Chesapeake Urology explain that a number of treatments are effective in providing relief from painful symptoms.

“Many women go through months or even years of frustration before they receive an accurate diagnosis of interstitial cystitis. The good news is, patients get significant improvement and relief from painful symptoms of IC once they are properly diagnosed and treated by an experienced urologist.”
– Lisa Hawes, M.D.

Understand the Signs of Interstitial Cystitis

While symptoms of IC may vary for each individual, women may experience some or all of the following:

  • Pain in the bladder and in the pelvic region surrounding the bladder. Pain may range from mild to severe.
  • Urgent and frequent need to urinate, even if the bladder is not full.
  • Pain that worsens during menstruation.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.

Finding a Treatment That Works for You

Treatments for IC can provide relief from painful symptoms. The pelvic health and bladder specialists at Chesapeake Urology offer women several therapies that have been shown to alleviate and/or diminish many of the symptoms of IC including:

  • Physical therapy, which has been shown to greatly improve painful symptoms of IC. Therapy techniques help relax and lengthen tight pelvic muscles.
  • Bladder installation, which delivers a medication solution into the bladder to help relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Neurostimulation and Botox – Neuromodulation devices such as InterStim® send mild electrical impulses to the nerves in and around the bladder to stimulate blood flow and produce chemicals that block pain. Botox injections can help with frequency and urgency symptoms.
  • Medications such as Elmiron®, which is an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of IC that has been shown to improve frequency, urgency, burning, and pain.

Learn more about treatment options for interstitial cystitis.

Take Control of Your Bladder Health

The female urology and pelvic health specialists at Chesapeake Urology urge all women living with the painful and sometimes debilitating symptoms of IC and other bladder conditions to seek help to restore quality of life. Interstitial cystitis isn’t just a physical condition – it causes emotional stress for many women. Fortunately, there is help.

Learn more about Chesapeake Urology’s Women’s Personal Health Program and the unique approach to integrated and personal bladder care or call 877-771-9508 to schedule an appointment with a female urology specialist, and begin your journey to better health.

For more information, visit Chesapeake Urology’s Women’s Personal Health website.

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