Interstitial cystitis

Treatment of interstitial cystitis

Treatment and prevention options depend on the severity of your symptoms and the degree to which they affect your life. Treatment options for interstitial cystitis include:

  • Lifestyle changes: Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and acidic foods, stopping smoking, and stretching may reduce symptoms.
  • Medication: Doctors may prescribe antidepressants, antihistamine medication, and over-the-counter pain relievers. A prescription medication called pentosan polysulfate improves symptoms in about 30 percent of people with interstitial cystitis.
  • Bladder distention: Health care providers often stretch the bladder with water or gas while diagnosing interstitial cystitis. Some people find relief after this procedure. If so, doctors may repeat it as a treatment.
  • Bladder training: By practicing a series of techniques, you can learn to increase bladder capacity and decrease frequent trips to the bathroom.
  • Bladder instillation: During this in-office treatment, doctors instill a special liquid medicine into your bladder using a thin tube called a catheter. The medication is held in your bladder for a few minutes before you urinate and release it. . Treatments are repeated every week or two for a total of six to eight weeks.
  • Electrical nerve stimulation: Stimulating the nerves with mild electrical impulses may improve blood flow to your bladder and decrease pain. In some cases, doctors surgically implant a device that delivers regular electrical impulses to the bladder.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapists can guide you through special activities to relieve muscle tightness.
  • Surgery: When other treatments have failed to provide adequate relief, doctors may recommend surgery. Surgical treatment of interstitial cystitis includes removal of ulcers in the bladder and removal (and replacement) of part of the bladder.

At Dignity Health, we are experienced in diagnosing and treating interstitial cystitis in CA, AZ, and NV. Find a location near you and make an appointment today.