Painful Bladder And Interstitial Cystitis Treatments

Also known as IC and Painful Bladder Syndrome

There is unfortunately currently no cure for Interstitial Cystitis and there remains no specific treatment that helps everyone. There are treatments available, but it is a matter of trial and error to find which treatment is best for you.

Treatments available for Interstitial Cystitis include the following:


Looking at your diet and removing specific foods may alleviate the condition.  Consider keeping a diary of what you eat and if there are any patterns.  Always speak to your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet.


Types of oral medication include muscle relaxants such as Oxybutynin which can calm the contractions of the bladder muscle – also used for an overactive bladder. Anti-inflammatories such as Diclofenac can reduce the inflammation and antihistamines such as hydroxyzine can be used. Certain anti-depressants can also be used such as Amitriptyline which have pain relieving qualities.


A bladder installation which replaces the deficient bladder lining.

DMSO (Dimethyl Sulfoxide)

Medication that is inserted directly into the bladder, works as an anti-inflammatory agent which can help to alleviate pain.


Possible surgeries include bladder augmentation and urinary diversion.

Avoid drinking cranberry juice as this will make Interstitial Cystitis symptoms worse as the bladder is inflamed without a bacterial infection present. In fact any sharp acidic food or drink makes the symptoms worse in this condition, its a really good indicator for the difference between a bacterial infection such as UTI and an IC case.

If you have been diagnosed with or think you may have Painful Bladder /Interstitial Cystitis, you can find out about the different types of treatments outlined above by speaking to your doctor or GP.

Please use this information carefully and always speak to your GP or health professional, they can explain what may be causing Cystitis and how the different Cystitis treatments may help you. They will also talk to you about any side effects, these are extra problems that can be caused by the treatment. Together, you can decide which treatment is the most suitable.

When you have been diagnosed you will first be offered what are known as conservative treatments, which include ways in which you can help yourself, like lifestyle changes.

Medication may be offered to you as an option, alongside some conservative treatments, depending on your symptoms and medical history. Surgery is a final option and will not normally be considered until you have tried other treatments for a length of time without success.

Community Patient Stories

Hannah’s Story – Interstitial Cystitis

Introducing Hannah, who will be contributing as a regular guest blogger for the Bladder and Bowel Community. Hannah has a painful bladder condition called Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and will be telling her story over a series of posts as