The condition known as interstitial cystitis may look and feel much like a urinary tract infection, but it really is an inflammation of the bladder wall. Women who experience this problem suffer severe pelvic pain and an increased urge to urinate. Interstitial cystitis is very difficult to differentiate from a urinary tract infection. One sure way to make a diagnosis is through a cytoscopic exam. This entails inserting a scope into the urethra to look for tiny tears in the bladder lining. While there is no cure, a drug called dimethyl sulfoxide may be applied directly into the bladder through the cytoscope. There is also an oral medication (Elmiron), which helps about half of the women with the condition.
Urinary tract infections are common, especially among women. If you suspect you have a urinary tract infection or just have questions, please call a urologist. Metrowest Urology has extensive experience in evaluating and managing urinary incontinence, and treats genitourinary problems for the entire family. Please call for an appointment 508.655.4422. We are your center for adult and pediatric urology and genito-urinary surgery.
Interstitial cystitis tends to afflict women in their forties, but women of any age can get it.