10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Interstitial Cystitis

By Garippo, Gina

Have you been struggling with painful bladder symptoms for awhile? Because interstitial cystitis (IC), or painful bladder syndrome, varies so much in symptoms and severity, it can be misdiagnosed—or go undiagnosed—for quite some time. And IC treatments vary from person to person. The key is to find a doctor who listens to you, understands your condition, and is willing to partner with you to help resolve your symptoms.  

Here are a few questions to ask your doctor about IC:

  1. What therapy or combination of therapies do you recommend to help control my symptoms?

  2. What are the potential benefits and risks of these therapies?

  3. Do you recommend I try bladder retraining? If so, can you help me develop a schedule?

  4. What foods and drinks should I avoid to reduce my chance of flare-ups?

  5. Could any of the medications I currently take for other health issues make my IC symptoms worse? 

  6. Can relaxing my pelvic muscles reduce IC symptoms? Should I see a physical therapist to help teach me relaxation and stretching techniques?

  7. What types of physical activity are best for me? 

  8. Can you refer me to an IC support group?

  9. Should I see a pain specialist? Or perhaps a specialist for IC, a gynecologic urologist, or a urologist?

  10. Would I be eligible to participate in any clinical trials on IC or bladder pain?

Medical Reviewer: Shaw, Susan MD Last Annual Review Date: 2010-08-31T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright: © 2000-2011 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Reference: Kidneys and the Urinary System section on Better Medicine

Did You Know?

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Interstitial cystitis affects as many as 8 million U.S. women.