Interstitial Cystitis

Pelvic Health Specialists

Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery located in Lawrence, KS & Topeka, KS

Interstitial cystitis is a condition that affects the bladder. Because there’s no single test that can diagnose interstitial cystitis, and the symptoms may vary, it’s not uncommon for people to be misdiagnosed. Board-certified urogynecologist Cathy Dahl, DO, at Pelvic Health Specialists in Lawrence and Topeka, Kansas, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of interstitial cystitis. To get the answers and help you need, call the office closest to you or book an appointment online today.

Interstitial Cystitis Q & A

What is interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic bladder condition that causes bladder pressure and pain. 

Your bladder is a flexible muscle that stores and excretes urine. When your bladder is full, the pelvic nerves communicate with your brain to indicate it’s time to urinate. 

If you have interstitial cystitis, your pelvic nerves may not be sending the right messages to your brain. You may find yourself feeling an increase in urinary urgency, but only eliminate small amounts of urine at a time. 

Interstitial cystitis may develop from many causes, including the types of food you eat, an infection, genetics, or an allergic reaction. 

What are the symptoms of interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis symptoms vary in type and severity. Common symptoms include:

  • Bladder pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Chronic urinary urgency
  • Feeling like you have a bladder infection
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain during intercourse

You don’t have to have all of the symptoms to have interstitial cystitis. You may even experience periods where you have no symptoms at all. 

How is interstitial cystitis diagnosed?

There’s no single test to diagnose interstitial cystitis. When you come in for a visit at Pelvic Health Specialists, your provider conducts a thorough evaluation to find the root cause of your discomfort.

During your exam, your doctor reviews your symptoms, medical and gynecological history, and family history. They may also ask you to keep a bladder diary so they can better understand your symptoms and potential triggers. 

Your provider performs a physical and pelvic exam and may run various diagnostic tests, such as urinalysis, blood work, urine cytology, or cystoscopy with hydrodistention, to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. 

How is interstitial cystitis treated?

Pelvic Health Specialists has been treating patients with interstitial cystitis for years. If they determine your symptoms are due to interstitial cystitis, they review the condition with you and outline your treatment options.

Treatment for interstitial cystitis may include:

  • Medications to alleviate symptoms and heal the lining of your bladder
  • Ablation of Hunner ulcers (lesions sometimes found in people with interstitial cystitis)
  • Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS)
  • InterStim™ neuromodulation

Your doctor at Pelvic Health Specialists also helps you make lifestyle changes that may alleviate your symptoms. This includes identifying and eliminating the foods that irritate your bladder and trigger your symptoms.

To learn more about interstitial cystitis, call Pelvic Health Specialists or book a consultation today.