Intersitital Cystitis (IC) is most often characterized by frequent urination, urgency, and pain in the pelvic or suprapubic area. Some people experience only pain or pressure and discomfort. The symptoms of IC are often similar to that of a urinary tract infection but the patient’s urine is usually free of bacteria. In order to diagnose IC, your doctor may do a cystoscopy, a simple in-office procedure. You may also be asked to keep a diary of your voiding.
Once diagnosed, there are treatments available. Oral medications may be prescribed to relieve pain or reduce urgency and frequency symptoms. Other treatments include bladder distention using a cystoscope or instilling medication directly into the bladder via the urethra. Bladder instillations are simple, in-office procedures usually performed by a member of the medical staff on a weekly basis, usually for 6-8 weeks. Treatment of IC depends on the severity of the symptoms.
Vaginal prolapse occurs when the pelvic organs (rectum, intestines, and vagina) are no longer held in place by the muscles and ligaments supporting them, resulting in their collapse into the vagina. As many as 34 million women are affected by this problem. Prolapse can be caused by weakening of the muscles due to childbirth, surgeries, and obesity. Often patients suffering from vaginal prolapse also show signs of bowel dysfunction or bladder over-activity.
Physicians treat this condition a number of ways depending on severity. Sometimes patients can perform physical therapy to help the problem, but often physicians must place a device in the vagina to support the weakened muscles.
Urinary Tract Infections
Most often, urinary tract infections are caused by an infection in the lower part of the urinary tract, namely the urethra and bladder, but urinary tract infections (UTIs) can affect any organ in the urinary system. More often, UTIs occur in women and are characterized by frustrating pain and/or itching in the bladder and urethra. Although bothersome, a UTI does not become immediately dangerous unless it spreads to the kidneys. Symptoms include burning during urination, frequency, urgency, strong smelling urine, flank pain and/or a fever. If your physician suspects a UTI, he will take a culture of your urine to test it. Most often, infections are treated with a simple dose of antibiotics. In rare circumstances, more intensive treatments are required. Untreated urinary tract infections can be dangerous as they can cause acute or chronic kidney infections or irreversible damage to the kidneys.
Risk Factors: Being female, sexual activity, post-menopause, dealing with kidney stones, having a catheter.