Well Being

Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Day

By  | 

Interstitial cystitis, also called painful bladder syndrome, is a painful condition that affects more women than men. (Company’s calling – living with the pain of interstitial cystitis). Some people with IC have only mild symptoms (pressure or tenderness) but others have severe or intense pain in the bladder and pelvic area. It can be particularly painful when the bladder is full and during sexual activity.

Man-Holding-Calendar_NC

October 31 has been designated as an awareness day for IC because so much isn't known about it. The hope is that this will help women (and men) who may have this problem may recognize themselves and realize that they are not alone.

Symptoms

The symptoms of IC include (from MayoClinic.com):

  • A persistent, urgent need to urinate.
  • Frequent urination, often of small amounts, throughout the day and night. People with severe interstitial cystitis may urinate as often as 60 times a day.
  • Pain in your pelvis (suprapubic) or between the vagina and anus in women or the scrotum and anus in men (perineal).
  • Pelvic pain during sexual intercourse. Men may also experience painful ejaculation.
  • Chronic pelvic pain.

Diagnosis

Doctors don't know what causes IC and because of this, it's quite difficult to diagnose and treat. Diagnosis is done, more or less, through exclusion. Once your doctor has ruled out anything else it could be, the diagnosis of IC may be made.

Treatment is difficult but is done by treating the symptoms.

Medications: Medications to help reduce inflammation and pain may be the first step. Other medications, like certain antidepressants, have been found to be helpful for certain types of chronic pain.

Bladder instillation: This is done by inserting a catheter (long, narrow tube) is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. A medication is then injected into the bladder and retained for about 15 minutes or so. The medication is then drained and the cycle repeated every few weeks if you obtain relief.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS):  Mild electrical impulses have been known to relieve pain in some situations. Some people with IC find relief from their symptoms.

There are some self-help treatments as well. The Interstitial Cystitis Association discusses diet, self-help, and over-the-counter medications.

~~~

comments