Urogynecologists located in Madison, MS & Flowood, MS
Patients from in and around Jackson, Mississippi who have chronic bladder pain may have interstitial cystitis. The healthcare providers at Southeast Urogyn deliver expert testing, diagnosis, and treatment of this uncomfortable condition.
Interstital Cystitis Q & A
What Is Interstitial Cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as painful bladder syndrome (PBS) is a chronic condition where the patient experiences pressure and pain on the bladder and pelvic areas, ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain. IC/PBS usually occurs with not only pain, but significant urgency to urinate with many patients having frequency to void over 20 times per day, although little urine will be released. There is no known cause of IC/PBS but it does tend to occur more often in women with auto-immune disorders such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, and this condition affects women significantly more often than men.
When Should I See a Doctor for Painful Bladder?
The symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis include:
- Chronic pain in the pelvic area including the vagina, vulva, and anus
- Persistent urge to urinate
- Frequent urination that is bothersome and without passing much urine
- Pain when the bladder is full or during or after sexual intercourse
While these symptoms are similar to a urinary tract infection, this condition is not caused by a bacterial infection so it is not treatable with antibiotics. Think of IC/PBS as inflammation of the bladder so the symptom overlap with a UTI should make sense. Ask for a consultation with a specialist if you have been treated more than twice over a 6 month period, before the symptoms become more chronic and disrupting of your life. The classic patient comes to see us after being treated over and over for presumed UTIs and many times has seen multiple doctors before the correct diagnosis is made.
How Is Interstitial Cystitis Treated?
Unfortunately, there is no simple treatment for interstitial cystitis and a number of approaches may be necessary. Some patients benefit from physical therapy others may find relief with medications. A variety of medications ranging from NSAIDs and antihistamines to tricyclic antidepressants may be helpful. The FDA has approved a drug called Pentosan (Elmiron) specifically for IC/PBS, but it could take 2-6 months to be fully effective. The providers at Southeast Urogyn may suggest bladder instillations of soothing medications on a routine basis for a while to decrease the inflammation in your bladder wall. If not improved enough, Botox® injected into the bladder wall or nerve stimulation (Axionics®) can be used in order to relieve symptoms. Bladder distention may be performed with a cystoscope and this aids in diagnosis and can be helpful for symptoms in some patients as well (see attached photos). In most women, a combination of therapies are used and these are tailored to your specific symptoms.
Do I Need to Prepare Anything Before Seeing a Doctor for Interstitial Cystitis?
You should write down a list of your symptoms and questions that you have about your condition. Make a list of any medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. Be prepared to talk to the doctor in detail about your urination habits and bring any records you may have from prior treatments. It might seem embarrassing, but the doctor will need as much information from you as possible to correctly diagnose and treat your condition.
Southeast Urogyn provides expert care, and wants every patient to be able to afford the checkups they need. If you have any questions about the insurance we accept, please call or office to see how we can best help you.
Words from our patients
"Southeast Urogyn is the BEST facility in Mississippi to go for any of your needs regarding menopause and Urogynecology."
"I met with Dr. Harris for the first time in August of 2015, and was immediately impressed. Please don't hesitate to make an appointment. You'll be glad you did."
"I felt no embarrassment from the initial physician's exam, the urodynamics testing by the nurse or the surgery. I could not have asked for a better doctor and staff."
"Dr. Harris explained everything in detail. He was very patient and kind. I would definitely recommend him to all my friends."
"I received a recommendation from a trusted source, and she was right on. I have and will continue to recommend Dr. Harris to all my female friends."
"Dr. Harris is extremely professional and friendly. He has given my life back to me and I will always recommend him to others."
"Top notch doctor and staff. I was tremendously satisfied with my bladder sling surgery and results. Dr. Harris is compassionate and treats you with dignity."
"I had trouble with incontinence. My internal medicine dr. referred me to Dr. Speights. I had surgery 6 weeks ago and the results are amazing."
"I highly recommend him. He is very personable, confident, and a caring physician. Besides being a great physician, he is a wonderful person."
"Dr. Speights repaired several issues that I had been troubled with for some time. I can now return to my normal daily activities without any problems."
"I felt very comfortable talking with Dr. Speights about the issues that I was having. He explained everything to me and was open for any questions that I might have."
"Dr. Speights was very helpful and kind. He explained my diagnosis and surgery to me and my husband in detail and answered all of our questions."