Cystitis is usually a mild and easily treatable infection that will often clear up by itself in just a few days. However, in some cases the symptoms can be more persistent or can keep coming back. If you have a chronic infection then you may need some additional cystitis treatment and advice from a urologist.
What is Chronic Cystitis?
Chronic or interstitial cystitis happens when the inflammation in your bladder keeps coming back. You might need regular or longer term cystitis treatment in order to prevent or treat your symptoms. Signs that you might have a chronic problem include:
- Frequent episodes of cystitis causing abdominal pain, burning when you pee, frequent urination or dark, smelly urine
- Pain or pressure in your bladder, abdomen or lower back
- Needing to urinate more often than other people, for example having to get up during the night or going more than about seven times a day
- Often feeling as if you need to urinate, even if you have just been
- Discomfort after sex or eating certain foods
The symptoms of chronic cystitis can vary in severity and change over time, but they can still have a significant impact on daily life. You can feel very uncomfortable or have problems with everyday activities because of your symptoms. You shouldn’t put up with these symptoms as treatments are available that can make a big difference. It is also important to confirm the cause of the problem in order to rule out other possible problems, including potentially serious kidney disorders or bladder cancer.
If you think that you might have interstitial cystitis it is important to see a specialist. The doctor will ask about your medical history and may perform a physical exam, urine test, cytoscopy or other investigations to make a diagnosis.
Options for Interstitial Cystitis Treatment
If you have chronic or interstitial cystitis then your urologist may suggest:
- Lifestyle changes such as changing the way you drink
- Medication to prevent infections or relieve your symptoms, for example a longer course of antibiotics to prevent infections
- In rare cases, surgery may help when other options haven’t worked