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Interstitial Cystitis

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is also called painful bladder syndrome. IC is a condition that causes pain in your bladder and pelvic area. You may also have ulcers in your bladder. The cause of IC is not known.

Kidney, Ureters, Bladder

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your doctor if:

  • Your symptoms get worse, or you develop new symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

  • Medicines may be given to decrease symptoms such as pain or the need to urinate urgently or often. Antibiotics may be given for 1 to 5 days to treat a bacterial infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Do Physical Therapy exercises as directed. The muscles of the pelvic floor are often tight in patients with IC. Physical therapy sessions can help to restore normal function to the muscles and help to ease pain and and bladder symptoms. Kegel exercises, frequently used to treat incontinence, are not recommended in patients with IC, and may make symptoms worse.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking may worsen your symptoms. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can also cause lung damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
  • Train your bladder to urinate less often. This can be done by going to the bathroom at scheduled times. Try to hold your urine when you feel the urge to go. For example, hold your urine for 5 minutes when you feel the urge to go. As that becomes easier, hold your urine for 10 minutes.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that can make your symptoms worse. Examples include oranges, lemons, tomatoes, chocolate, alcohol, spicy foods, soft drinks, and coffee.
  • Manage stress. Stress may worsen symptoms. Your healthcare provider may recommend you find ways to manage stress, such as relaxation techniques.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.