That Chronic Pelvic Pain! Could It Be…

Health Issues at any Age

Bladder and Pelvic Pain- Interstitial Cystitis

Do you have recurring discomfort, pressure or pain in and around your pelvic area?

Does this pain coincide with the urgent need to urinate or a frequent need to urinate?

Do you urinate often during the night ?

Does your bladder seem to fill quickly and often feel irritated?

Most of these symptoms are related to bladder disease; interstitial cystitis or IC with PBS – painful bladder syndrome.

IC/PBS is more common in women and is often hard to diagnose. Often it is diagnosed only after ruling out any other treatable diseases that are causing the pain and pressure.

It is thought it may be hereditary and to may be linked to irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia. Bacteria are not usually present so antibiotics are not effective in treating this condition.

Tests to diagnose this problem include urinalysis, urine culture, cystoscopy, biopsy of the bladder and urethra.

Not all cases meet the definition of Interstitial Cystitis and so researchers and the medical community are starting to refer to this affliction as painful bladder syndrome or painful urinary syndrome as it might be more that one disease that is causing the discomfort or pain.

There are also differences in urinary frequency as the size of the bladder might not be the issue.   Some people with normal bladder capacity have trouble with frequent urination during the day and throughout the night.  IC/PBS in women could be linked to other inflammatory diseases and heredity might also play a role.


Bladder distention can be used to diagnose and treat PBS.   In this procedure the bladder size is increased providing for increased capacity.

Bladder wash or instillation requires the patient to hold a solution in the bladder for a period of time.

Drug therapy is also available and sometimes symptoms are alleviated with ibuprofen and aspirin.

Other treatments and remedies include Electrical Nerve Stimulation, bladder training, surgery, physical therapy.

There is no cure for interstitial cystitis, but the symptoms can be relieved in many cases.    Diet and exercise can again play a role in how well this condition is tolerated.  Foods that are known to cause inflammation in the body such as tomatoes, potatoes, alcohol, caffeine, high acid foods, fried foods and tobacco should be eliminated or consumed in moderation.

For more information contact your physician and discuss your symptoms.