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.
This 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
Analgesic medicines to help reduce pain
Anti-inflammatory medicines or the drug, Elmiron to help with symptoms
Surgery is rarely done. It may be performed if a person has symptoms that do not go away with other treatments, trouble passing urine, or blood in the urine.
Other things that may help include:
Avoiding foods and fluids that irritate the bladder. These include spicy foods and alcohol, citrus juices, and caffeine, and foods that contain them.
Performing 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 better at waiting this long, slowly increase the time intervals by 15 minutes. Try to reach a goal of are urinating every 3 to 4 hours.
Pelvic muscle strengthening exercises called Kegel exercises to help relieve symptoms of urgency.
Most cases of cystitis are uncomfortable, but the symptoms most often get better over time.
If you have been diagnosed with cystitis and your symptoms get worse, or you have new symptoms, especially fever, blood in the urine, back or flank pain, and vomiting.
Avoid products that may irritate the bladder such as:
Feminine hygiene sprays
Tampons (especially scented products)
If you need to use such products, try to find those that do not cause irritation for you.
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.