Interstitial Cystitis Specialist

Samuel M. Alexander, MD

OB-GYN located in Metairie, LA

Patients who have chronic bladder pain may have interstitial cystitis. Dr. Alexander provides expert testing, diagnosis, and treatment of this uncomfortable condition.

Interstitial Cystitis

What is interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition where the patient experiences pressure and pain on the bladder and pelvic areas, ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain. Also called painful bladder syndrome, the patient will feel the need to urinate frequently, although little urine will be released. This condition affects women more often than men.

How will I know if I need to see a doctor for painful bladder syndrome?

The symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis include:

  • Chronic pain in the pelvic area including the vagina and anus
  • Persistent urge to urinate
  • Frequent urination, up to 60 times a day, without passing much urine
  • Pain when the bladder is full or during sexual intercourse

While these symptoms are similar to a urinary tract infection, this condition is not caused by a bacterial infection and is not treatable with antibiotics. A doctor should be consulted when the symptoms are chronic or disrupting your life.

How is interstitial cystitis treated?

Unfortunately, there is no simple treatment for interstitial cystitis, and a number of approaches may be necessary. Some patients benefit from physical therapy others may find relief with medication. A variety of medications ranging from NSAIDs and antihistamines to tricyclic antidepressants may be helpful. The FDA has approved a drug called Pentosan (Elmiron) specifically for interstitial cystitis, but it could take 2-6 months to be fully effective. Dr. Alexander may suggest nerve stimulation to relieve pain. Bladder distention performed with a cystoscope has helped some patients as well.

Is there anything I should do before seeing a doctor about painful bladder syndrome?

You should write down a list of your symptoms and questions that you have about your condition. Make a list of any medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. Be prepared to talk to the doctor in detail about your urination habits. It might seem embarrassing, but the doctor will need as much information from you as possible to correctly diagnose and treat your condition.

Insurance Providers

We accept all major medical insurances, except for: Humana Gold, People’s Health, or Tricare. For any other insurance questions, please contact my office.

Adventist Health
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Health Partner
Principal Financial Group
United Healthcare