If a woman needs to urinate more than eight times a day, experiences pain while urinating, or feels premenstrual tenderness in her bladder, she may be suffering from “interstitial cystitis” (otherwise known as “painful bladder syndrome”). This condition, which is more common than previously thought, is often misdiagnosed as endometriosis, vaginitis, adhesions, or PMS. The pain results when the bladder absorbs irritating compounds (instead of deflecting them), which injures nerves. In its early stages, the symptoms of interstitial cystitis are intermittent. They may flare before a period or upon eating potassium-rich foods. A careful history and a urine test can lead to diagnosis and treatment, which may consist of dietary changes, pelvic exercises, bladder training, and/or medications.
P.S. Oral medications used to treat interstitial cystitis symptoms include those that coat the bladder surface, antihistamines, immunosuppressants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, and antidepressants.