Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition causing bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pelvic pain. The pain ranges from mild discomfort to severe pain and is included as part of a spectrum of diseases known as painful bladder syndrome.
What is Interstitial cystitis?
Your bladder is a hollow, muscular organ that stores urine. The bladder expands until it’s full and then signals your brain that it’s time to urinate, communicating through the pelvic nerves. This creates the urge to urinate for most people. When someone has interstitial cystitis, these signals get mixed up —creating a feeling of the need to urinate more often and with smaller volumes of urine than most people.
Interstitial cystitis has a range of signs and symptoms which can change in type and severity over time. Some common symptoms include:
If you experience any symptoms of interstitial cystitis it is important to see a healthcare professional. Most likely, you will be referred to a urologist who can diagnose and help treat the condition. A medical examination may include a series of questions about your medical history, your experience of the symptoms, as well as any prescription medication you may be on. A physical examination may be involved whereby a doctor may feel your abdomen, the organs in your pelvis, and your rectum to help diagnose symptoms. Other tests may include a cystoscopy, biopsy or urine test; however, diagnosing interstitial cystitis should be relatively simple and straightforward.
There are a number of treatments available, and your doctor will recommend one or more based on your unique needs. Treatments include:
Dealing with Interstitial Cystitis
Stress does not cause Interstitial cystitis, but it can cause a flare. There are a few things you can do to look after yourself and minimise the intensity of your flares. Some things you can do include:
It is important to talk to a trusted professional when it comes to your health. If you have any questions about OAB, or would like to book an appointment, please feel free to contact or call Dr Arianayagam’s office on 1300 307 990 and his staff will be able to assist.
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