What to do About Chronic Bladder Pain

While both women and men can develop bladder issues, it’s far more common for women. Pelvic pain often traces back to the bladder, and it can result from a number of conditions. 

Urinary tract infections can cause pain, but these are usually easy to treat with antibiotics and therefore comparatively short-lived. Bladder cancer can cause chronic pain, but it’s not one of the top cancers that affects women. The most common cause of chronic bladder pain is interstitial cystitis, where the bladder lining becomes irritated and inflamed.

The cause of interstitial cystitis isn’t precisely known, and there’s no cure. However, the condition is very treatable. Enlisting the aid of the specialists at Southeast Urogyn is your first step to taking your life back from this impactful condition. 

Recognizing interstitial cystitis

Pain from interstitial cystitis usually presents in the perineum, the area between the vagina and anus. The pain is chronic, meaning that it’s long-lasting, but it’s also common for the level of pain to vary over time. Certain activities might trigger the pain, including long periods of sitting, exercise, intercourse, stress, or menstruation.

Furthermore, other symptoms may accompany the pain, including the following:

These symptoms are also common with urinary tract infections (UTIs), but with interstitial cystitis, no infection is present. It’s possible, though, to have a UTI while you have interstitial cystitis. If you have interstitial cystitis along with a UTI, the UTI may intensify your symptoms. 

Treating bladder pain

Interstitial cystitis varies greatly between patients. Your symptoms and their intensity may be different from what others experience. The same can be true with treatments. There’s not a single solution that works for everyone.

Some patients get relief from their bladder symptoms through medications. Some medications can be taken orally, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antihistamines. Other drugs can be delivered into the bladder through a catheter.

Other patients can be helped by nerve stimulation and physical therapy. Furthermore, botulinum toxin can sometimes ease the bladder contractions that are contributing to pressure, pain, and urinary urgency.

If these treatments fail, your urogynecologist may suggest an implantable device that stimulates the sacral nerve. This treatment can alter the frequency and urgency of urination. Other surgical options may include fulguration — which is a treatment that uses an electric current to destroy abnormal tissue — and resection, which involves removing problematic tissue.

The doctors at Southeast Urogyn are specialists in treating interstitial cystitis, and they’re ready to help you tackle your chronic bladder pain. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone today.

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