interstitial cystitis treatment

Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as bladder pain syndrome (BPS), is a chronic condition characterised by bladder pressure and pain. This can sometimes include pelvic pain. It is a part of a spectrum of diseases known as painful bladder syndrome.

The exact cause of IC is unknown, but it is believed to involve a defect in the protective lining (epithelium) of the bladder, allowing substances present in urine to irritate the bladder wall. It is one of those conditions that can be hard to diagnose.

Interstitial Cystitis Symptoms

The symptoms of IC can vary from one patient to another and may also fluctuate over time. Common symptoms include:

  • Pelvic or bladder pain.
  • Persistent, urgent need to urinate.
  • Frequent urination, often of small amounts. 
  • Pain or discomfort while the bladder fills, relieved after urinating.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.


Causes and Risk Factors Of Interstitial Cystitis

While the exact cause is unknown, several factors are thought to contribute to the development of IC:


  • Defect in the bladder epithelium
  • Autoimmune reaction
  • Heredity
  • Infection or allergy


IC is more common in women than men and is typically diagnosed in individuals in their 30s or older. It may also be associated with other chronic pain disorders like irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia.

counselling on recurrent early pregnancy failure and comprehensive prepregnancy care.

Treatment of Interstitial cystitis

There is no single treatment that works for everyone with IC. Treatment aims to relieve symptoms and may involve a combination of the following approaches:

  • Lifestyle changes: Avoiding potential triggers like certain foods, stress, or tight clothing.
  • Bladder training: Techniques to increase the intervals between urination.
  • Physical therapy: To address pelvic floor muscle tenderness or abnormalities.
  • Oral medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), tricyclic antidepressants, antihistamines, or pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron).
  • Bladder instillation: Introducing a liquid medication (e.g., dimethyl sulfoxide or heparin) into the bladder.
  • Bladder stretching (hydrodistention): Stretching the bladder under anaesthesia, which may provide temporary relief.
  • Alternative therapies: Guided imagery or acupuncture may help some individuals.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, procedures like bladder augmentation or cystectomy (bladder removal) may be considered as a last resort.
  • The O-Shot: The O-Shot treatment uses your own blood platelets (PRP therapy) to stimulate new tissue formation, aiming to adjust the bladder’s sensitivity. The results seemed very encouraging in ameliorating the conditions and marked improvements were observed. 

Supporting Studies for PRP in the Treatment of IC

The general findings of this study on PRP for IC found that all patients experienced a reduction in painful urination, urinary retention, or infections post-treatment. The study confirmed that PRP injections are generally effective for IC/BPS, with the added benefit of promoting tissue healing and reducing inflammation.

Coping and Support

IC can significantly impact quality of life, and support from family, friends, and healthcare providers are all part of the picture towards relief. Joining a support group is a good way to garner a sympathetic listening environment and useful information.

We stress the importance of you working closely with a healthcare provider to find an effective treatment plan and manage symptoms. IC can lead to complications like reduced bladder capacity, emotional distress, and sexual intimacy problems.

If you have, or think you might have Interstitial Cystitis, or symptoms closely related please get in touch with Dr Nadia using our contact form.

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Dr Nadia Yousri

meet Dr Nadia Yousri

Sexual Wellness & Regenerative Medicine

Doctor Nadia Yousri is Triple Qualified OB&GY Surgeon (FRCOG, MRCOG, PhD in OB&GY, Master Degree in OB&GY, DFSRH) is a highly qualified & experienced Obstetrician, Gynaecologist, Fertility, Sexual Wellness, Aesthetic Gynaecology & Regenerative Medicine Specialist Consultant. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of OB&GY- London since 2009. Her higher qualifications include PhD in OB&GY & Master degree in OB&GY & DFFP & University Lecturer Degree.

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