Women with Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis Should Recognize Symptoms, Seek Expert Help

Published On: 11/21/2014

In recognition of National Bladder Health Awareness Month, Chesapeake Urology Associates’ female urology specialists urge women living with the often debilitating symptoms of chronic bladder conditions like interstitial cystitis (IC) to seek the help they need, and deserve, to restore their quality of life.

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 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 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,” explains Lisa Hawes, M.D., female urology specialist at Chesapeake Urology. “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.”

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.

While there is no cure for IC, treatments 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 for many women.


Take Control of Your Bladder Health

The female urology and pelvic health specialists at Chesapeake Urology urge all women living with the pain, anxiety 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 by visiting womenshealth.chesapeakeurology.com or call 877-771-9508 to schedule an appointment with a female urology specialist, and begin your journey to better health.