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What is Interstitial Cystitis?
Interstitial Cystitis is a chronic bladder condition that causes pain and pressure below your belly button, and frequent (often painful) trips to the bathroom (in severe cases this may be as often as 40-60 times a day).
It is most common in women (estimated to be around 90% of cases) although men can also develop Interstitial Cystitis.
The condition can affect women at all stages of life, from puberty through to menopause, but problems typically occur in a woman’s 40s and the risk of occurrence increases as you get older.
Bladder pain can range from a dull ache to piercing pain, while urinating can trigger pain ranging from a little sting through to serious burning.
What Are the Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis?
Symptoms vary between people and can be temporary (and go away without treatment) or linger for months or even years. Common symptoms include:
- the frequent need to go to the toilet (more than the normal 7-8 times daily)
- an urgent need to go to the toilet – including immediately after you go
- bladder pressure and pain, worsening as the bladder fills
- pain in the lower abdomen, lower back, pelvis, or urethra
- (for women) pain in the vulva, vagina, or the area behind the vagina
- (for men) pain in the scrotum, testicles, penis, or the area behind the scrotum, and/or
- pain during sex (women), during orgasm or after sex (men)
The symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis can be easily confused with a wide range of other problems, from bladder infections (UTI’s) and urge incontinence to bladder cancer, endometriosis, STD’s, and kidney stones.
75%-80% of Interstitial Cystitis is related to pelvic floor disorders.
What Causes Interstitial Cystitis?
There is still uncertainty around the reasons why Interstitial Cystitis occurs, although it is thought that inflammation, immune dysfunction, and allergies and sensitivities can all be significant contributors to the condition.
The condition may be triggered by a number of factors, including:
- chemicals in your urine
- pelvic nerve damage or inflammation
- bladder trauma (including pelvic surgery)
- autoimmune disorders
- pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
- bladder over distention
- a history of frequent bladder infections
- estrogen imbalance or hormonal fluctuations, and/or
Symptoms may be worsened by some foods or drinks, mental or physical stress, or a woman’s menstrual cycle.
It is thought that somewhere between about 3% to 6% of adult women have some form of Interstitial Cystitis.
Interstitial Cystitis Can Be Treated
The American Urological Association (2010) gave the following guidelines for treating Interstitial Cystitis:
- instigate diet changes and reduce stress, and
- seek physiotherapy, medications, and bladder installation treatments.
At the Coregood Institute we can offer a full range of non-surgical treatment options, and tailor a treatment plan to suit your particular situation and needs.
We employ an extensive range of non-surgical treatment options to diagnose and treat Interstitial Cystitis.
Alongside traditional pelvic physiotherapy treatment options and advice on correcting pelvic floor function, we also offer patients other options including acupuncture, SCENAR therapy, and treatment using the world’s most advanced and successful non-surgical technology – the PelviCenter.
We’re also able to offer effective natural solutions and nutritional advice to treat and help you better manage your condition.