All About Interstitial Cystitis

Overview

This is a very serious bladder disorder that causes pain and pressure on the bladder and often a pain in the pelvic area. Patients may experience mild to severe pain. Interstitial cystitis comes from the family of diseases known as painful bladder syndrome.

The bladder is an organ with a hollow and muscular build that keeps urine. As more urine collects into the bladder, it expands until it becomes full, then sends a message via the pelvic nerves to the brain that it’s time to pee. For many persons, this is what triggers the feeling to pee.

Unfortunately, there is no clear signal when it comes to urinating for people with interstitial cystitis. The urge to pee is more frequent, yet you pass out a very small amount of urine.This bladder issue is most common in women and can affect the quality of life on a long-term. It has no cure, but therapies and medications can alleviate the condition.

In this post, we would be discussing issues regardingInterstitial cystitis, including the signs and symptoms, associated risks, causes of this disease, when to consult a doctor and the possible complications.

What are the symptoms?

Different people have different symptoms. Should you have this condition, your symptoms may change with time, increasing over a period in reaction to common triggers like sex, menstruation, exercise, stress, and over eating.

The following are Interstitial cystitis symptoms:

  • Pelvic pain or pain between the anus and vagina in women
  • Pain between the anus and scrotum in men (perineum)
  • Continuous pressure to pee
  • Pelvic pain that’s severe
  • Urinating more often – passing out small quantities of urine the whole day (around 60 times per day)
  • Painful sex
  • Discomfort or pain while the bladder fills and empties after peeing

The seriousness of symptoms are different for people, and there are times when patients experience no symptoms.

While signs of this condition may be similar to that of chronic urinary tract infection (UTI), there is no infection. But symptoms may get serious if an Interstitial cystitis patient develops a UTI.

When should you seek medical help?

See your healthcare provider or doctor should you be having severe pain in the bladder, or frequent and urgent need to urinate.

What are the causes?

It is not clear what causes this condition, but several factors add up to result in this disorder. For example, patients having Interstitial cystitis may have an epithelium (protective lining of the bladder) dysfunction.

When the epithelium leaks, harmful substances may get to and irritate the walls of the bladder.Though unconfirmed, other factors that can possibly contribute to Interstitial cystitis are allergies, infection, autoimmune reaction, and heredity.You should consult a doctor for an Interstitial cystitis diagnosis. This will enable them to understand how to help you treat the condition.

What are the risk factors?

The following can increase your chances of developing interstitial cystitis:

Gender

More cases of Interstitial cystitis is found in women than in men. The symptoms men experience may look like that of Interstitial cystitis, but it is more commonly linked to prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland).

Skin and colour of the hair

Persons with light coloured skin and red hair are known for having more risks of developing Interstitial cystitis.

Age

A lot of infected people are diagnosed with this disease in their thirties or older age. This could imply that you may have had this disease without knowing until you get to the age of 30, which is why we recommend you always go for a medical check-up to know your general well-being.

Severe pain disorder

People experiencing Interstitial cystitis may also have very serious pain disorder like fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome.Should you have any of these risk features, you need to seek help as quickly as possible before complications arise.

Are there complications with Interstitial cystitis?

Several complications can be brought about due to the bladder problem. These include:

  • Lower capacity of the bladder

A healthy bladder will expand to collect as much urine as possible. But when it becomes unhealthy like in the case of Interstitial cystitis, that expansion is no longer possible, rather the bladder walls contracts (stiffens). This makes only a small amount of urine to enter the bladder as against the usual quantity. So, the bladder performs less than its potential.

  • Reduced quality of life

It is not easy to cope with the urgent and frequent need to pee in the midst of work, family, career, and social life. Sometimes, it gets so tiring that you don’t feel like connecting to anyone anymore. You feel anxious each time you go out as you don’t know when the urge to urinate will come and how to handle the pain. In fact, you are always self-conscious.

  • Problems in sex

Interstitial cystitis can make your sex life go down. The pressure of urinating more often than necessary can strain your sexual intimacy since you’re always alert. There may be no quiet and romantic moments anymore, as the need to pee affects even your intimate conversations and connections.

  • Emotional breakdown

Patients with Interstitial cystitis find it hard to sleep comfortably without waking up to pee several times at night. The severe pain that also comes with it can put you into a state of depression and stress that you may not find easy. Lack of sleep on its own has major side effects.

Managing the condition

Like we said earlier, there is no known cure for Interstitial cystitis. But there are other procedures that can help control the symptoms.

If you are interested in having Interstitial cystitis treatment, contact your medical health provider. They will examine your symptoms and risk factors to prescribe the best course of treatment for you.

At our clinic, we have well-trained professionals that can help you manage symptoms of bladder disorder effectively.

Would you like an appointment? Feel free to Get in touch with doctors at the Sexual Health Clinic. They care about your health and wellness.

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