Our Approach to Interstitial Cystitis at Coyle Institute

Interstitial cystitis affects both men and women and can be extremely frustrating to live with and treat since there is no cure. At Coyle Institute, we understand how this chronic condition can negatively affect a person’s quality of life, so we work hard to identify the best treatments for interstitial cystitis that work for individual patients. Rather than adhering to a one-size-fits-all approach to treating interstitial cystitis, we achieve better outcomes through personalized treatment plans.

What is Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that causes bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pelvic pain. The pain ranges from mild discomfort to severe pain. The condition is part of a spectrum of diseases known as painful bladder syndrome. Interstitial cystitis most commonly affects women and can have a long-lasting impact on quality of life. Although there is no cure, medications and other therapies can offer welcome relief. 

Causes of Interstitial Cystitis

The exact cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown, but it is likely that there are many contributing factors. Interstitial cystitis is a defect in the protective lining (epithelium) of the bladder. A leak in the epithelium may allow toxic substances into the urine that can irritate the bladder wall. Other possible, but unproven, contributing factors include autoimmune reactions, heredity, infections or allergies.

Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis can cause different symptoms in different people. Most commonly, people with interstitial cystitis experience:

  • Pain in the pelvis (or between the vagina and anus in women or between the scrotum and anus (perineum) in men)
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • A persistent, urgent need to urinate
  • Frequent urination, often of small amounts, throughout the day and night (up to 60 times per day)
  • Pain or discomfort while the bladder fills and relief after urinating
  • Painful intercourse

Risk factors for interstitial cystitis are age, sex and having a chronic pain disorder. 

Diagnosing Interstitial Cystitis

The process of diagnosing interstitial cystitis begins with collecting a thorough medical history. You will be asked to keep a bladder diary over a period to provide your provider at Coyle Institute with better insight into your unique situation. Your provider may also conduct a pelvic exam and urine test. In some cases, a cystoscopy, which uses a thin camera to look inside the bladder, can be beneficial. If needed, biopsies can be collected and studied. Urine cytology is performed to look for abnormal cells in the urine.

Treatment Options for Interstitial Cystitis

Physical therapy is a great way to ease the symptoms and pain caused by interstitial cystitis. Since interstitial cystitis can cause tight pelvic floor muscles, which may spasm or become pain-triggering spots, physical therapy can help to relax and lengthen these tight muscles and trigger points. Oral medications or medications infused into the bladder can also be helpful in treating the symptoms of interstitial cystitis. Nerve stimulation via transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and sacral nerve stimulation are helpful for many patients with interstitial cystitis who do experience enough relief from other therapies. Bladder distention with Botox injections has also been shown to be effective for relieving bladder pain and bothersome bladder symptoms in patients with interstitial cystitis.

Choosing Coyle Institute for Interstitial Cystitis Treatment

Coyle Institute is a recognized leader in urogynecology. This is a specialized area of urology and gynecology that focuses on pelvic organ functions and the surrounding tissues and muscles supporting these organs. We utilize the latest medical, scientific and technological advancements available to provide patients with the very best care in urogynecology. We respect each patient’s wishes and always consider their personal concerns and goals when developing a treatment plan. If you are ready to find relief from your interstitial cystitis issues, call us today for an appointment at 850-637-8258.