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Interstitial Cystitis & Bladder Pain Specialist

The Woman’s Center

Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery located in Mesa, AZ and serving the greater Phoenix, AZ area.

Interstitial cystitis (nicknamed “bladder pain syndrome”) can lead to chronic bladder pain and symptoms that make it feel like you always have a bladder infection. If you’re experiencing pelvic pain, bladder pressure, or a persistent urge to urinate, contact Ryan Stratford, MD, MBA, FACOG, Kelly Kantartzis, MD, MS, FACOG, or Peter Jeppson, MD, FACOG at The Woman’s Center in Mesa, Arizona, to schedule an interstitial cystitis and bladder pain examination. Click on the online scheduler to book an appointment or call this Phoenix-area women’s health clinic directly.

Interstitial Cystitis & Bladder Pain

What causes interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis isn’t well understood. But medical researchers find many risk factors and triggers that can lead to this chronic condition of bladder pain. You may have interstitial cystitis due to:

  • Family history of interstitial cystitis
  • Inherited defect in bladder tissues
  • High levels of certain inflammatory cells, known as mast cells
  • Chronic pain disorders, such as fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Interstitial cystitis can also occur if your immune system starts attacking your bladder and destroying healthy cells (autoimmune disease). 


Does interstitial cystitis cause bladder pain?

In many cases, yes. But the severity and frequency of your bladder pain can vary. For instance, you may feel fine most of the time, but as your bladder fills up, you start noticing severe pelvic pain. Interstitial cystitis can also lead to:

  • Frequent urination
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Persistent urge to urinate

Even though interstitial cystitis symptoms mimic those related to a urinary tract infection (UTI), no infection is usually present. But you can certainly have both interstitial cystitis and a UTI at the same time, which can lead to severe bladder pain and possibly burning while urinating. 

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, schedule an evaluation at The Woman’s Center as soon as possible, so you can get started on treatment with a urogynecologist. 


How is interstitial cystitis treated?

Treating interstitial cystitis and resolving chronic bladder pain often involves combining medications, in-office treatments, and lifestyle changes. Your dedicated urogynecologist at The Woman’s Center may recommend:

  • Bladder retraining  
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy  
  • Bladder-relaxing medications 
  • Bladder instillations
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Dietary changes, like avoiding spicy foods and caffeine 

If conservative interstitial cystitis treatments aren’t effective, your urogynecologist may recommend a minimally invasive cystoscopy with bladder distention procedure, which involves filling your bladder with water to stretch it out. 

The Woman’s Center urogynecologists can even put soothing medications into your bladder through a bladder instillation procedure. Because there are so many innovative treatment options available, you won’t have to live with bladder pain another day. 

Book your interstitial cystitis and bladder pain evaluation at The Woman’s Center today. Schedule online or over the phone. 

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