Interstitial Cystitis: More Solutions Than You Think

Interstitial Cystitis: More Solutions Than You Think

Do you suffer from discomfort or pain when urinating? Do you have bladder pressure or pelvic pain? If so, you may be suffering from interstitial cystitis (IC). Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options.

Here at Women's Pelvic Surgery of North Jersey in Hackensack, Dr. Khashayar Shakiba uses innovative technology and minimally invasive approaches to provide exceptional urogynecologic care for our patients. A board-certified OB/GYN, Dr. Shakiba and our staff treat pelvic pain, endometriosis, sexual dysfunction, and more, all in a personalized supportive environment. You may be surprised to learn how many options we have for treating interstitial cystitis.

The facts about interstitial cystitis

Also called painful bladder syndrome, interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition where the signals from the pelvic nerves that communicate between the bladder and the brain get mixed up. They signal that it’s time to urinate way too often, so people feel like they need to pee more frequently (up to 60 times daily) and experience smaller urine volume.

Symptoms of IC vary from woman to woman and can ebb and flow over time. Pain can occur in the pelvis, when the bladder fills, and during sexual intercourse. Women can also experience discomfort in the area between the vagina and anus. Issues with urination include an urgent and ongoing need to pee and frequent trips to the bathroom all day and night.

Treatment options for IC

While there is no cure, there are a variety of ways interstitial cystitis can be managed, so there is no reason to suffer in silence.

Lifestyle changes

In many cases, lifestyle changes can help. For example, some women find certain foods and drinks, like spicy peppers, exotic foods, coffee, artificial sweeteners, and others can trigger severe bladder pain, and they’re helped by removing them from their diet. Drinking enough water to stay hydrated is also important. Healthy habits like quitting smoking, reducing stress, and getting enough physical activity may also help you find relief and experience fewer symptom flares.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) control

Symptoms of interstitial cystitis can be similar to those of a urinary tract infection, but typically no infection is present. However, if you do get an infection, symptoms can flare, so if a UTI is suspected, get treatment as soon as possible.

Bladder and bowel training

Sometimes people get used to urinating every time they feel the urge, and the body gets accustomed to this habit. Bladder training and using a bladder diary to keep track of times can aid in increasing the distance between trips. Some women feel that having regular bowel movements aids in symptom relief as well, so trying to do this the same time each day may help.


Over-the-counter medication can aid in treating mild bladder pain. For those who need more relief, there are a number of other options, including narcotic analgesics, certain antidepressants, and antihistamines, among others.

Other options

Injections of BotoxⓇ into the bladder may decrease the need to urinate frequently by deactivating the nerves causing the sensation. Minimally invasive surgery can also provide relief when other treatments have not proven successful.

If you've been suffering from bladder pain and issues with frequent urination, call our office or click the button to book an appointment with Dr. Shakiba to explore the variety of treatment options.

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