What is interstitial cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic
bladder problem. About 750,000 Americans have interstitial cystitis. Most of
them are women. People with interstitial cystitis have a bladder wall that is
inflamed and irritated (red and sore).
This inflammation can scar the
bladder or make it stiff. A stiff bladder can't expand as urine fills it. In
some cases, the walls of the bladder may bleed slightly. A few people get sores
in the bladder lining.
People with interstitial cystitis may
have the following symptoms:
An urgent need to urinate, both in
the daytime and during the night
Pressure, pain and tenderness
around the bladder, pelvis and perineum (the area between the anus and vagina
or the anus and the scrotum). This pain and pressure may increase as the
bladder fills and decrease as it empties in urination.
A bladder that won't hold as much
urine as it did before
Pain during sexual intercourse
In men, discomfort or pain in the
penis or scrotum
In many women, the symptoms get
worse before their menstrual period.
Stress may also make the symptoms
worse, but it doesn't cause them.
What causes interstitial cystitis?
Doctors don't know what causes
interstitial cystitis. They know that it isn't caused by infections with
bacteria or viruses. It might be caused by a defect in the lining of the
Normally, the lining protects the
bladder wall from the toxic effects of the urine. In about 70 percent of the
people with interstitial cystitis, the protective layer of the bladder is
"leaky." This may let urine irritate the bladder wall, causing interstitial
Other possible causes may be an
increase of histamine-producing cells in the bladder wall or an autoimmune
response (when antibodies are made that act against a part of the body).
How does my doctor know I have
You may have interstitial cystitis if
any of the following occur:
You have to urinate often or
You have pelvic or bladder pain
A urologist (a doctor whose
specialty is problems of the urinary tract) finds bladder wall inflammation,
pinpoint bleeding or ulcers during an exam with a special scope (called a
cytoscope) that looks inside your bladder
Your doctor has ruled out other
diseases such as urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, bladder cancer,
sexually transmitted diseases and, in men, chronic prostatitis
How is interstitial cystitis
There is no cure for interstitial
cystitis. Many treatments can help your symptoms. Most people feel better after
trying one or more of the following treatments:
Sometimes people feel better
after having bladder distension.
Under anesthesia, a doctor
overfills your bladder with fluid. This stretches the walls of the bladder.
Doctors don't know why distension
helps. It may make your bladder be able to hold more urine. It may also
interfere with the pain signals sent by nerves in the bladder.
Your doctor may have you take an
oral medicine called pentosan polysulfate (brand name: Elmiron).
This medicine helps to protect
the lining of the bladder wall from the toxic parts of urine.
Another oral medicine used to
treat interstitial cystitis is an antihistamine called hydroxyzine (two
brand names: Vistaril and Atarax).
This medicine reduces the amount
of histamine that is made in the bladder wall.
Another medicine that may help is
amitriptyline (brand name: Elavil). It blocks pain and reduces bladder
spasms. This medicine can make you sleepy, so it is usually taken at
During a bladder instillation, a
catheter (a thin tube) is used to fill your bladder with liquid medicine.
You hold the medicine inside your
bladder for a few seconds to 15 minutes. Then the liquid drains out through
Treatments are given every one to
two weeks for six to eight weeks. The treatment can be repeated as needed.
What else can I do to help my
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views and information serves to educated and informed consumer . The
information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or
for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. .It should not replaced
professional advise and consultation. A licensed physician should be
consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions