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Painful Urination

Interstitial Cystitis and Painful Urination

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is often referred to as the “evil twin” of endometriosis since the symptoms of IC and endometriosis can be similar. Interstitial cystitis is another complicated disease that affects that bladder, causing women pain, pressure, and discomfort in the bladder area.

Some women with IC may experience only pelvic pain, while others may also describe urinary frequency (urinating more than 7 times a day), urinary urgency, or getting up to urinate several times at night.

Accurately diagnosing endometriosis and IC is crucial in alleviating symptoms of pain since both of these conditions are 2 completely separate diseases. Sometimes one disorder may mask other co-occurring disorders and it takes a skilled physician to correctly differentiate the many possible sources of pelvic pain.

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Diagnosing Interstitial Cystitis (Painful Bladder Syndrome)

Diagnosing interstitial cystitis is not as simple as just taking a medical history and looking into symptoms. Our specialists rely heavily on the information gathered during a Potassium Sensitivity Test (PST) to guide them toward an accurate diagnosis. Women who have symptoms of overactive bladder might need this test done to help determine the root cause of the issue so appropriate treatment can begin.

What is a PST?

A potassium sensitivity test (PST) is a simple office procedure performed by a nurse practitioner that tests the bladder for IC. First, a tiny plastic catheter is placed into the bladder. Then, two different solutions are instilled into the bladder, testing the bladder for IC. The procedure is no more uncomfortable than a pap smear, takes less than 10 minutes, and requires no preparation. A PST allows us to know that you have this problem (IC/PBS) that we would not know otherwise. Once we know you have IC, we can more effectively treat you.

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What if I am positive?

If you have a positive PST and have a convincing history of urinary symptoms, it is likely that you have IC. You will return to the doctor for a consultation and start an effective treatment regimen that includes an oral medication and bladder treatments.

What if I am negative?

A negative test does not necessarily mean that you do not have IC. You will return to the doctor for a consultation and to discuss further diagnostic testing and treatment options.

Our practitioners are ready to help you find relief from OAB. Contact us or use our chat today for a consultation to determine if a potassium sensitivity test is necessary.

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