What is Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome?
Interstitial Cystitis, or Painful Bladder Syndrome, are terms used to describe uncomfortable or painful bladder symptoms that may include or mimic recurrent urinary tract infections, feelings of urgency and frequent need to urinate (including at night), burning, pain, pelvic pressure or discomfort. A wide range of symptoms make the condition difficult to diagnose initially, and it may take years before a proper diagnosis is reached. This condition may range from mild feelings of urgency and frequency with intermittent burning or discomfort to severe, unrelenting, debilitating pain and significantly reduced bladder capacity with blood in the urine and ulcerations of the bladder wall. The cause of this condition is unknown, and is probably multifactorial including environmental, genetic, immunologic and structural factors. It is not unusual for a sufferer to also have similar associated conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis, migraine headache, vulvodynia/vulvar vestibulitis, or fibromyalgia.
How is it Diagnosed?
The initial diagnosis may be presumptive rather than related to a specific diagnostic test. The clinical signs and symptoms may point to the diagnosis. A cystoscopy is usually performed at some point in order to determine whether any ulcerations are present, and some practitioners perform a hydrodistension to make the diagnosis. This is somewhat controversial as repeated hydrodistensions may cause scarring and shrinkage of the bladder capacity, and an initial hydrodistension may give a false positive reading. The presence of Hunner lesions (small ulcers of the bladder wall) are considered definitive diagnostic findings.
What Can be Done to Treat It?
Treatment is usually done in a stepwise fashion, beginning with the simplest and least invasive and proceeding as needed/indicated to more complex or invasive treatments.
Avoidance of PERSONAL bladder irritants is paramount under all circumstances with IC. Many individuals will learn from experience that tomatoes, coffee, tea, chocolate, or spicy foods may worsen or cause symptoms. The key to finding and following the proper diet usually lies with elimination of all potential irritants at first (not an easy task for most) and gradually adding back potential irritants one at a time in order to determine which foods or liquids are on the “OK” list. Often, the list of foods/drinks to avoid includes bowel irritants as the bladder and bowel are often irritated by the same or similar substances. See the attached list or go to www.ic-network.com for a list of foods to avoid. You may also want to consider food sensitivity testing for a more accurate listing of your foods and substances to avoid.
Very often, when a painful condition exists in the pelvis the pelvic musculature and connective tissue become inflamed, irritated, spastic and tight. This leads to a vicious cycle of more pain and more clenching. The worst thing for this is to try to do Kegel exercises or “pelvic strengthening” exercises. The most important thing to do in a situation like this is to find a well-trained pelvic physical therapist who can help with reducing the muscle spasm and inflammation that has developed in the tissues. Myofascial pain, referring to the muscles and connective tissue, is extremely common and a significant contributor to the discomfort felt with interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome. Therapy may consist of hot baths in Epsom Salt, intravaginal muscle release, stretching, sometimes in conjunction with muscle relaxants. This is an often overlooked but extremely important aspect of treatment. There are multiple studies demonstrating the importance of physical therapy in pelvic pain disorders including IC/PBS.
There are several supplements that have been useful to treat either recurrent urinary tract infection or interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome. Pre-lief is quite helpful for some individuals. Also, freeze-dried Aloe Vera extract can be helpful for some individuals, particularly in reducing recurrent urinary tract infections. Of course, allergies to just about anything are possible, so it is important to consider a possible sensitivity or allergy if the supplement doesn’t help or seems to worsen symptoms. D-mannose has been used to reduce the ability of bacteria to stick to bladder walls and cause infection, so is often recommended to help prevent UTIs. While cranberry products such as Utiva ® , Ellura ® and Theracran ® may be helpful in preventing UTIs, they may irritate a bladder when IC/PBS is present, so should be approached with caution. Supplements designed to treat IC which contain Quercetin, chondroitin sulfate and sodium hyaluronate have been helpful for many. There are several brand names containing a mixture of these ingredients with other things such as herbal extracts, and though data are lacking in the absence of an allergy or known interaction may be worth considering.
Elmiron ® is the only prescription oral medication in the USA with a specific indication for Interstitial Cystitis. It is taken 3 times daily and may take up to 3 months to take effect. Other medications used may include amitriptyline, cymbalta, hydroxyzine, cimetidine or ranitidine. RIMSO-50 is a liquid form of DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) that can be instilled directly into the bladder and is approved to treat IC. There are potential side effects (sometimes serious) with some of these medications so again, they should be approached with caution and monitored closely.
There are many “recipes” for various bladder “cocktails” to be used in treating IC/PBS and/or recurrent urinary tract infections. Most of the recipes include lidocaine and heparin, many include triamcinolone (a steroid similar to cortisone), sodium bicarbonate, and an antibiotic (usually gentamicin). We have seen many patients obtain relief both from recurrent urinary tract infections and symptoms of IC with this therapy.
Cystoscopy with cauterization of Hunner lesions (ulcerations in the wall of the bladder) and/or hydrodistension (stretching with fluid by filling the bladder to its maximum size) can be done in certain cases. There is evidence that cauterizing the ulcers may help with symptoms. Hydrodistension is somewhat more controversial, as it may relieve symptoms but the relief is often temporary and may result in scarring or damage to the bladder in some cases. It can be a helpful diagnostic tool at times as well. If there is a question regarding the diagnosis and/or treatment a cystoscopy is usually performed at some point.
Is There a Cure?
Since we don’t know the cause, it is hard to say whether we can find a cure. It is possible that we are seeing several different conditions with similar symptoms. Many individuals undergo a remission of sorts. Until we understand all of the possible causes and their specific treatments, we will not be able to definitively “cure” IC. However, we can work together to make it livable.
The most important thing to understand is that it is a real condition, you are not “crazy” and while sometimes chronic pain can be depressing, seeing a therapist or psychiatrist will not treat the underlying problem, only the emotional symptoms that come with chronic pain.
Schedule a Consultation
At Laser Skin & Wellness, our urogynecologists take a comprehensive approach in evaluating and treating this condition. We may need to perform additional testing that is outside of the usual spectrum of insurance-covered testing in order to obtain more and better information regarding the cause of the problem. We can thus find better ways to successfully treat the condition.
Votiva is one of the latest innovations specifically for women’s health. It is a machine by InMode that provides many solutions to an array of concerns women have for vaginal health. This technology is safe, effective, and minimally invasive. At Laser Skin & Wellness, we are offering this new instrument to help women feel great once again.
What is Votiva?
Votiva is a workstation with a variety of machines included, all of which assist in providing a feminine makeover by addressing a range of concerns. Votiva uses radiofrequency energy to heat and stimulate the cells of the vagina and vulva. It increases collagen and elastin fiber production. The Votiva workstation includes three different technologies: the FormaV, Morpheus8, and Aviva. The FormaV helps to improve blood circulation to help with muscle relief pain and relaxation. This therapeutic device addresses sexual dysfunction. The Morpheus8 focuses on subdermal tissue remodeling, dermal treatment, and epidermal resurfacing. Aviva is a minimally invasive procedure that is an alternative to a traditional labiaplasty. Together, the Votiva machine can:
Enhance the vaginal tone, strength, and control
Tighten the vaginal canal
Increase sensation during intercourse
Reduce vaginal dryness
Reduce stress urinary incontinence
Improve the appearance of the labia
Who is a Candidate for Votiva?
Women of every age can benefit from Votiva. Many women experience changes in their feminine health due to childbirth and menopause. Loss of vaginal tone, vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse are all common concerns that women face. Votiva is an extremely versatile treatment that can help women feel normal once again.
How Long Does The Votiva Treatment Take?
Depending on your individual needs and concerns, the sessions last anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. There is very little downtime associated with this treatment. Women will need to abstain from intercourse for at least 3 days following their Votiva sessions. Also, it is important to avoid hot tubs, pools, and baths for those 3 days as well. Your specialist at Laser Skin & Wellness will go over any and all questions you may have regarding this treatment during your consultation.
Schedule a Consultation
To learn more about Votiva and our feminine rejuvenation treatments, schedule a consultation with Laser Skin & Wellness. You can do so by calling or texting our Lake Worth, Florida office at (561) 427-0900 or request an appointment through our online form.
There is a lot to enjoy when you live in Florida from the beaches to the sunshine to the laid back atmosphere. However, if you suffer from female urinary incontinence, then you may not be noticing the beautiful scenery and community, you may spend your time looking for the nearest bathroom. If you find yourself struggling with this issue and see no end in sight, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of Laser Skin & Wellness’ complimentary consultation. Here are a few myths that may have stopped you in the past from making that appointment, and we’ll set the record straight, so you make the best decision for you.
There isn’t an effective and safe female urinary incontinence procedure
Some people still believe that there isn’t an effective female urinary incontinence treatment. However, there is a minimally invasive procedure called Juliet that is quick and painless and has helped thousands of women with issues such as dryness, incontinence, and intercourse pain. The technology is state of the art, and the feminine laser treatment is designed to restore the natural PH and rejuvenate the vagina.
Pushing through the discomfort is better than the alternative
If you think that you have to push through the discomfort, leaks, and avoid events because of your urinary incontinence, then you aren’t alone. Some women simply accept this as a natural part of aging and they don’t want to hear that they’ll need a complicated surgery or treatment to take care of it. Our female urinary incontinence solution is fast and requires three days of recovery time that involves avoiding intercourse or participating in high-impact activities. The recovery time is short, as well as the amount of time you’ll have to spend in the office.
Every woman’s body will go through the same urinary experience
While some women will go through similar experiences as they age, none will be identical. If you have a female friend that goes through urinary incontinence, and you’ve discussed the way you feel and the situations you go through due to the discomfort and leaks, that’s great. However, be mindful that you don’t continually compare your symptoms to theirs. You want to get a female urinary incontinence treatment that’s right for you. You may have a friend that has much lighter and easier to manage the symptoms, and you don’t want to base your treatment decisions on them.
The female urinary incontinence cost isn’t worth it
The female urinary incontinence price doesn’t compare to the experience of feeling your symptoms reduce, and you getting to take back your life. Enjoying time with family and being confident at public events is invaluable. If you’re ready to learn more about the costs of the Juliet treatment, then contact the specialist at Laser Skin & Wellness by calling 561-641-9490, or filling out our contact form online. Your free consultation is waiting for you at our offices located in Lake Worth and Palm Beach Gardens, FL!
Urinary incontinence is something that many of us don’t have an open dialogue about because it can lead to embarrassing situations, and you may feel that you’re out of control. However, you shouldn’t feel alone because millions of Americans suffer from this involuntary form of urinary leaks, and the majority of those are women.
Some of the main times this occurs are after childbirth and menopause, but one in four women past the age of 18 will suffer from bladder control problems. If you’re searching for a female urinary incontinence treatment, here are a few methods to help improve and manage the symptoms.
#1: Invest in a minimally invasive treatment
Juliet is a feminine laser that gets quick and painless results, and all of our appointments are entirely confidential. This effective treatment for urinary incontinence works to restore the connective tissue and the mucosa that allows your natural PH to be restored. The entire procedure will be virtually painless and often takes less than fifteen minutes. You’ll enjoy benefits such as more control over urinary leakage, improved vaginal dryness, fewer itching sensations, and less or no pain during intercourse. And these are just a few of the advantages that come with this vaginal rejuvenation treatment.
#2: Individualize your diet and exercise routine
Being at a healthy weight will help you manage urinary incontinence. However, you’ll want to focus on an individualized exercise plan that improves the muscles that help you to stop urinating. Also, your diet should incorporate plenty of water and avoid liquids like soda, alcohol, citrus juices, and caffeinated beverages. While you do want to stay hydrated, you’ll want to be mindful when you drink to prevent leaking from occurring. The fuller your bladder is, the more likely you’ll feel the urge to go.
If you’re looking for a urinary incontinence treatment for elderly women, you’ll find that diet and exercise changes will often be paired with a secondary treatment such as a feminine laser such as Juliet. In fact, women of all ages may see positive results when they find complimentary treatments for bladder control issues beyond a healthy lifestyle.
#3: Pay attention to your bathroom schedule
You can train your bladder to work with your bathroom schedule if you know what it is. You can start by keeping a journal and post the times that you urgently have to run to the bathroom or end up leaking. If you tend to go every three and a half hours, then set a timer and go to a bathroom every three hours instead of waiting for the urge to strike.
#4: Use your complimentary consultation
If you have any questions about new treatments for incontinence and want to learn more about ways to manage it, contact the professionals at Laser Skin & Wellness. We respect your confidentiality and health and are here for you every step the way. Simply contact us at 561-641-9490, or visit our locations at Lake Worth and Palm Beach Garden. Don’t just sit on that free consultation – use it today to see the difference we can make!