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Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a complex chronic condition that involves an irritated or inflamed bladder wall. It can cause stiffening and scarring of the bladder, decreased capacity of the bladder, and pinpoint bleeding (glomerulations). IC is sometimes referred to as:

  • Painful bladder syndrome

  • Frequency – urgency – dysuria syndrome

How is IC detected?

The symptoms and signs of IC vary from one person to another. If you have IC, your symptoms could vary over time. You could have periodic flares because of exposure to common triggers, such as stress, menstruation, sitting for a long period, exercise, and sexual activity.

Some of the more common symptoms and signs associated with IC include:

  • Persistent, urgent need to urinate

  • Pelvic pain

  • Pain in the pelvis or between the vagina and anus

  • Frequent urination, often of very small amounts throughout the day and night. People with this condition might urinate as many as 60 times per day.

  • Pain and discomfort as the bladder fills, then relief after urinating

  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Interstitial cystitis can lead to symptoms with different levels of severity. Some people with IC might have periods of time where symptoms disappear or are non-existent.

If you have any symptoms or signs that might indicate interstitial cystitis, you should consult with your provider right away.

Who is at risk for interstitial cystitis?

There are some factors that increased the risk of interstitial cystitis. Some of those factors include:

  • Your sex. Women are much more likely than men to be diagnosed with IC.

  • Your age. Most people who have IC are diagnosed during their 30s or when they are older.

  • Chronic pain disorder. Those who have another chronic pain disorder, such as fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome, might be more likely to be diagnosed with IC.

If you are diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, our providers will take the time to discuss the condition with you in-depth. We want you to understand how the condition will affect your health, what tests and procedures might be necessary, and your treatment options. We promise to be honest and open with our communication, and we expect you to ask any questions and to share any of your concerns with us.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence, a very common problem, refers to the loss of bladder control. This happens with the bladder support tissues are too weak or the bladder muscles are too active. Our providers treat the most common kinds of incontinence on a regular basis.

With overactive bladder conditions, the sphincter muscles contract too often. You may feel a strong urge to go to the bathroom when you have only a small amount of urine in your bladder. There are very effective medications to treat this problem in most cases.

InterStem Therapy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves stimulation of the sacral nerve. It is another effective approach to treating the condition. It involves implanting a programmable stimulator under the skin, which will deliver low amplitude stimulation through a lead to the sacral nerve.

There could be underlying problems that are leading to your incontinence, such as nerve damage or vaginal prolapse. Some causes might be serious while others are more easily treated. The most common cause of urinary incontinence as you age, and your pelvic support muscles weaken. Pregnancy, especially multiple pregnancies, can also cause incontinence.

Other causes of urinary incontinence are specific medical conditions and various lifestyle activities. You could have accidents when you laugh, sneeze, exercise, or lift heavy objects. Symptoms could range from just mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting.

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