Speaking to Your Urogynecologist about Cystitis

For many people, few things can be as anxiety inducing as new pain. This is especially true when that pain just seems to last and last with no real relief in sight. For women in particular, new abdominal or pelvic pain can be especially troubling as it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause without the help of a doctor.

If experiencing pain in the abdomen and pelvis, along with symptoms related to urination, it’s very important that you make an appointment to speak with your urogynecologist. Bladder infections or urinary tract infections, while extremely common, can also potentially be dangerous if left untreated. Cystitis, or the inflammation of the bladder generally caused by an infection, needs to be addressed before the condition becomes more serious. In the case of interstitial cystitis, which is chronic bladder pain, it’s imperative to seek treatment otherwise you could have consistent pain in the long term which would be debilitating.

If you’ve been taken by surprise by sudden pain or you’ve been dealing with chronic pain, you need to speak to your urogynecologist. Here is why it’s so important to get a proper diagnosis.

Why you should always mention pain to your urogynecologist

Persistent abdominal pain is one of the things you should always mention to your urogynecologist. That’s because there are many different conditions that can cause this pain ranging in severity. The fact is, a relatively benign condition doesn’t differ too much when it comes to symptoms compared to a condition that has the potential to be life threatening. Pain is a very broad symptom that applies to many things. It’s best not to take risks when dealing with abdominal pain, so your best bet is to just get it checked out as soon as you can. You don’t want to wait until the pain becomes so excruciating that you’re forced to go to the ER instead of going in for diagnostic testing while the condition is still manageable.

This is especially true of urinary tract infections which, while usually not too serious, can spread to the kidneys if not promptly taken care of. This brings us to cystitis.

Typical cystitis

Cystitis, in the majority of cases, is typically a temporary condition that results from a bacterial infection. This inflammation of the bladder tissue can be painful, uncomfortable, and generally annoying for its duration. While it isn’t usually a serious illness because treatment is often sought within a reasonable timeframe, the infection can become life threatening if allowed to spread to the kidneys and cause renal failure in extreme cases.

Most cases of cystitis are eliminated after a course of treatment with antibiotics. That is, if the cystitis was caused by an infection. While bacteria cause most of these cases, it’s far from all. Radiation therapy, some medications, and irritants like catheters or certain birth control measures can in some cases cause cystitis. Treatment, then, would focus on targeting the root cause. But, what if your cystitis is chronic with no solid identifiable cause? That’s a separate issue that you need to address with your urogynecologist.

Interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is persistent and not related to a bacterial infection. However, it is similar to typical cystitis. Along with the pain, there is a significant urgency to urination. It’s not uncommon to have to urinate over twenty times a day with this condition. You may not urinate much when you go to the bathroom and can experience pain when your bladder is full or engaging in sexual intercourse. It’s not unusual to be treated multiple times during a single year for what is believed to be multiple urinary tract infections before it’s discovered what you’re suffering with is interstitial cystitis. When preparing for your appointment, be sure to keep a log of your symptoms along with any a list of any medications or supplements you take. This will help narrow down possible causes.

Treating interstitial cystitis

When it comes to treating interstitial cystitis, everyone is different. There isn’t generally a one size fits all, straight ahead treatment plan. A variety of approaches will likely be taken and used in tandem to treat your symptoms. Some patients respond positively to a combination of medication and physical therapy. Medication can range from antihistamines to antidepressants. Bladder instillations of medication or the use of Botox may also be used to provide relief. Your urogynecologist will work with you to come up with the treatment combination that best addresses your individual condition.


Chronic abdominal pain from cystitis can have a tremendous effect on your life. You need to find relief as soon as possible so you can stop suffering with these debilitating symptoms. If you’re experiencing persistent abdominal pain, book an appointment online today. The team at Southeast Urogyn is here to provide you with the care you need so you can feel your best.

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