Women Health Topics Interstitial Cystitis


WomenHealth Topics: Interstitial Cystitis

WomenHealth Topics

Healthhas been one of the most crucial aspects in the contemporary humansociety. This may be attributed to the recognition of the fact thatonly healthy individuals would be able to dedicate their energies tothe creation and multiplication of wealth in any country. Indeed,this should explain the increased levels of investment in thisparticular sector in the contemporary human society. Nevertheless, ithas well been acknowledged that there are variations in the types ofhealth issues that affects men and women. Indeed, there are healthissues that that primarily affect women and are rarely experienced bytheir male counterparts (Alexander,2010).This is the case for interstitial cystitis, a condition that is alsocalled the bladder pain syndrome.

Interstitialcystitis refers to a chronic pain condition that primarily affects anindividual’s bladder. It is a chronic condition where an individualexperiences pelvic pain, bladder pain, as well as bladder pressure(Simone,2000).This pain may range from mild discomfort to extreme pain. Thecomprehension of this condition would be enhanced by examining howthe bladder functions. As a hollow, muscular organ that isresponsible for urine storage, the bladder expands to its fullcapacity before sending a signal to the brain that it is time to beemptied through urination (Simone,2000).The communication is done via the pelvic muscles, therebyestablishing the urge for urination in a large number of people.

Thekey reason for the classification of interstitial cystitis or painfulbladder syndrome is the fact that the female gender remains the onlydefinitive or conclusive risk factor for the condition. Indeed,research has shown that a considerably higher proportion of womencompared to men are diagnosed with this condition. In the UnitedStates, researchers estimate that over a million women and overeighty thousand men have the condition (Weeks,2012).However, there have been instances where the condition isunderdiagnosed in some men while other have been misclassified assuffering from it. Nevertheless, there are varied other risk factorsfor the condition including previous infections of the urinary tractor even hereditary factors.

Underliningthe seriousness of this condition is the overall effects that itwould have on the health of an individual/. Studies have shown thatinterstitial cystitis may result in physical damage of the bladderwall (Weeks,2012).Indeed, the wall may scar and stiffen as a result of the persistentor chronic inflammation thereby resulting in a decrease in thecapacity of the bladder. Further, it is common to have petechialhemorrhage and glomerulations (areas of pinpoint bleeding) on thewall of the bladder (Simone,2000).

Theexact or definitive causes of Interstitial Cystitis or painfulblander syndrome have never been known. Nevertheless, research showsthat damage of the bladder may be the fundamental trigger for thiscondition (Simone,2000).Indeed, researchers have come across specific pathologies in patientsthat suffer from the condition including modifications of the nervefunction in the wall of the bladder, variation in the substances thatthe urothelial surface excrete like the antiproliferative factor, aswell as abnormalities in the bladder surface mucin (Simone,2000).Currently, there have been persistent studies on conditions thatappear to occur more regularly in individuals that suffer from thecondition compared to the general population including sensitiveskin, vulvar pain syndrome or vulvodynia, endometriosis, pelvic floormuscle spasm, sensitive skin, allergies, and irritable bowel syndrome(Alexander,2010).

Thereare variations in the types of symptoms that would signal at theexistence of interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome, aswell as in their frequency and severity. Nevertheless, the symptomswould include discomfort, pressure or pain in the pelvis, absence ofany other pathology or infection and a persistent urge to void one’sbladder. Scholars note that the urinary frequency is typicallyrelated to the sensations (Alexander,2010). Pelvis pain, which is often described as discomfort or pressure isthe most definitive symptom. Researchers have noted that as thebladder fills, there would be an increase in pain, which woulddiminish after the bladder has been emptied. This pain may in turnincrease the persistent urgency for urination, which often reducesafter voiding. Women suffering from the condition may have to voidtheir bowels as many as ten to 50 times within a period of 24 hoursand often suffer from dyspareunia and nocturia especiallyperimenstrually.

Nevertheless,since numerous other conditions can still have symptoms similar tointerstitial cystitis, it would be detrimental to diagnose thecondition solely on the basis of the symptomatology of the patient(Alexander,2010).Indeed, ruling out other conditions would be imperative. First,carrying out urine culture and urinalysis would be imperative as thelater would reveal the presence of sugars, proteins, WBCs, RBCs, aswell as the concentration and pH. Patients who have glucosuriaproduce enormous amounts of urine as is the case in diabetes, therebyresulting in increased urgency and frequency (Weeks,2012).Further, protein in urine would be an indication of renal diseasewhich may also enhance the urine output, while crystals would suggestthe existence of stone diseases. Further, a culture of prostaticsecretions may be carried out in men, where the physicians obtainsamples of prostatic fluid and examine if for signs of infection andbacteria (Alexander,2010).

Thereexists no simple or single cure or treatment for interstitialcystitis, in which case it may be imperative that a patient triesvaried approaches so as to come up with some relief. In most cases,drugs have been used with varied options existing includinganti-spasmodic drugs, antidepressants, antihistamines, painkillersand anti-inflammatory drugs (Weeks,2012). Nevertheless, antibiotics are usually ineffective as there oftennever exists an infection. Other therapies that may be used includeintravesical therapy, which involves the instilling of a single agentor even a cocktail of the same in the bladder. This therapy isusually applied as a second-line treatment or even in conjunctionwith other conservative treatment techniques. Further, physicians mayuse hydrodistention where the patient is placed under anesthesiaafter which the urologist would carry out a cystocospic exam and thendistend the bladder using sterile water for around two minutes.

Themost crucial information pertaining to interstitial cystitis revolvesaround its symptoms and causes. Indeed, it is crucial to note thatthe condition can often be confused with other ailments that havesimilar symptoms. In essence, it is imperative that physicians gobeyond the simple examination of symptoms and extend theirexamination so as to have definitive information pertaining to thetype and nature of the ailment (Weeks,2012).Further, it is worth noting that antibiotics would be ineffective inthe treatment of this condition as there exists no infection.Nevertheless, other therapies including the consumption of balanceddiet would go a long way in treating the condition or even avertingthe possibility of its occurrence.


Alexander,L. L. (2010).&nbspNewdimensions in women`s health.Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Simone,C. M. (2000).&nbspAlongthe healing path: Recovering from interstitial cystitis.Cleveland, Ohio: IC Hope.

Weeks,P. (2012).&nbspPainfulBladder Syndrome: Controlling and Resolving Interstitial Cystitisthrough Natural Medicine.London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.