Interstitial cystitis involves persistent pelvic pain and urgent need to urinate usually throughout the day and night and sometimes more than 50 times in a day. There is discomfort and pain while the bladder is filled with urine and relief after urinating. Symptoms of interstitial cystitis happen suddenly with periods of relief for some people but for others have severe symptoms. Sometimes, the symptoms of interstitial cystitis have similarities with urinary tract infection, but there are no bacteria or infection. This condition affects men and women but women are more susceptible.
Symptoms of interstitial cystitis
- Chronic pelvic pain
- A persistent and urgent need to urinate
- Pain and discomfort can be felt when the bladder is full of urine and relief after urinating.
- Frequent urination, usually small amounts of urine throughout the day and night and those with severe interstitial cystitis usually urinates 60 times every day.
- Women can feel pain in the pelvis or between the vagina and anus and in men between the scrotum and anus.
- Dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscle
- Trauma to the spinal cord
- Primary neurogenic inflammation
- Bladder trauma or over distention
- Autoimmune disorders
- Genetics or heredity
- Defects in the epithelium or lining of the urinary bladder that causes irritation.
- Apply heating pad or hot water bottle over the abdomen when there is spasm of the bladder. Heat helps in relaxing and soothes the tight and spastic muscles of the bladder wall.
- Treat pelvic floor flare using heat such as a portable heating pad with a protective layer over it. This portable heat pad is placed inside the pants or underwear of the affected person.
- Place a frozen water bottle against the urethra. Wrap the frozen bottle with towel before applying over the urethra for at least 20 minutes to help numb the area and lessen inflammation.
- Avoid foods that cause irritation of the bladder such as carbonated drinks, caffeine in all forms including chocolate as well as citrus products and foods that contain high levels of Vitamin C.
- Maintain a routine schedule for urination such as going to the toilet according to the clock rather than waiting for the urge to urinate. Begin by urinating using set intervals like urinating every 30 minutes whether there is an urge or not and then gradually wait longer before going to the toilet. Control the urges of urination using relaxation techniques such as breathing slowly and deeply or perform other activities.
- Wear loose clothing and avoid clothes or wearing belts that place significant pressure on the abdomen.
- Stop smoking to prevent making the condition worse.
- Perform regular stretching exercises to lessen the symptoms of interstitial cystitis.