A cystoscopy (use of lighted instrument to look inside the bladder) may be done if you have:
Symptoms related to radiation therapy or chemotherapy
Symptoms that do not get better with treatment
Blood in the urine
The goal of treatment is to manage your symptoms.
Treatment may include:
Medicines to help your bladder contract and empty. These are called anticholinergic drugs. Possible side effects include slowed heart rate, low blood pressure, increased thirst, and constipation.
Muscle relaxers to reduce the strong urge to urinate or need to urinate frequently
A medicine called pyridium to help relieve bladder pain
Medicines to help reduce pain
Anti-inflammatory medicines to help improve symptoms
Surgery is rarely performed unless a person has:
Severe symptoms that do not respond to other treatment
A lot of blood in the urine
Your doctor or nurse may also recommend the following self-care steps:
Avoiding foods and fluids that irritate the bladder. These include spicy or acidic foods such as alcohol, citrus juices, and caffeine.
Doing bladder training exercises to help you schedule times to try to urinate and to delay urination at all other times. One method is to force yourself to delay urinating despite the urge to urinate in between these times. As you become skilled at waiting this long, gradually increase the time intervals by 15 minutes until you are urinating every 3 to 4 hours.
Strengthening the pelvic muscles with Kegel exercises to help relieve symptoms of urgency.
Although cystitis is uncomfortable, the symptoms most often get better over time.
You have been diagnosed with cystitis and symptoms get worse or you develop new symptoms such as fever, blood in the urine, back or flank pain, and vomiting.
Avoid using products that with irritants such as scented bubble baths, feminine hygiene sprays, tampons, and spermicidal jellies.
If you need to use these items, try to find those that do not cause you irritation.
Hanno PM. Painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis) and related disorders.In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 12.
Carter C, Stallworth J, Holleman R. Urinary tract disorders. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 40.
Sovrin M. Shah, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.