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Bladder Pain Specialist

Maiden Lane Medical

Multi-Specialty Group Practice located in New York, NY

Frequent trips to the bathroom can make life uncomfortable. If you are experiencing frequent urges to use to bathroom coupled with pain, seek the expertise of a medical professional. You may be experiencing the symptoms of a condition called bladder pain syndrome.

Our doctors at Maiden Lane Medical in Manhattan, NY utilize advanced comprehensive testing and diagnostic methods to provide an accurate diagnosis for acute and chronic bladder pain. With our experienced team by your side, you can trust that you will receive an effective treatment plan personalized specifically for you. Schedule an appointment today!

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“I have visit many doctors for my problem, many just gave up on, but my Doctor is just amazing. She is careful and knows what she does, feel very comfortable. The clinic is really nice, and the people who work there are very professional and kind.”
PAULINA T.

What Is Bladder Pain Syndrome?

Bladder pain syndrome (BPS), also called interstitial cystitis (IC), is defined as bladder discomfort that lasts for more than six weeks and occurs in the absence of an underlying cause, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI). IC/BPS is a chronic pain condition.

Is There a Difference Between Bladder Pain Syndrome and a Bladder Infection (UTI)?

Yes, there is a difference between bladder pain syndrome and a bladder infection. However, bladder pain syndrome and urinary tract infections (UTIs) can easily be mistaken for one another, as they both involve noticeable bladder discomfort. The two differ in that UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the bladder and respond to antibiotics, whereas bladder pain syndrome is not treated effectively with antibiotics.

A woman experiencing pain from painful bladder syndrome in NYC

Whom Does Bladder Pain Syndrome Affect?

Bladder pain syndrome can affect anyone. However, more women than men are reported to be affected by this condition. It affects approximately 1 to 4 million men and 3 to 8 million women in the United States alone.

Bladder Pain Syndrome Risk Factors

Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) risk factors include:

  • Your age (risk of getting IC/BPS increases with age)
  • Your sex (women tend to develop IC/BPS more than men)
  • Having other long-term pain syndromes (including irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis, or fibromyalgia)

Bladder Pain Syndrome Symptoms

Bladder pain syndrome symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “Symptoms vary from person to person, may come and go, and can change in each person as time goes on.”

The most common IC/BPS symptoms include:

  • Pain in your bladder region (suprapubic region)
  • Pain in your pelvic floor muscles
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms (urinary frequency and urgency)
  • Pressure, discomfort, or pain as your bladder fills, followed by relief after urinating
  • Only urinating a small amount

Are There Certain Things that Can Trigger My Condition?

Yes, there are some things that can trigger your condition, making your IC/BPS symptoms worse. These triggers can include:

  • Stress
  • Exercise
  • Certain foods
  • Sitting for an extended period
  • Sexual activity
  • Menstruation

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What Causes Someone to Develop Bladder Pain Syndrome?

Unfortunately, medical providers and medical researchers do not know exactly what causes IC/BPS. Some possible but unproven contributing factors include autoimmune diseases, infection, a defect in your bladder tissue, allergies, or heredity.

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How Is Bladder Pain Syndrome Diagnosed?

To make an accurate diagnosis, your specialists will perform a physical exam and review your medical history. During your evaluation, they will assess any discomfort when you have a full bladder, the intensity of relief after urinating, and tenderness in your bladder, urethra, or pelvis.

Urine studies may also be used to confirm your diagnosis and rule out the following:

What Tests Can be Used to Diagnose Bladder Pain Syndrome?

Urine studies can be used to diagnose bladder pain syndrome. These may include the following:

  • Urinalysis (urine tests)
  • Biopsy
  • Cystoscopy

Interstitial Cystitis Treatment and Management

While there is no cure, there is treatment available to manage your IC/BPS pain and symptoms. Your specialist will assist you in choosing the most appropriate treatment for your needs. This may include a multidisciplinary approach, including:

  • Changes in your diet: For some patients, there are certain foods that aggravate their bladder symptoms even more. These foods can include alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, spicy foods, carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, and more. Your physician may recommend limiting your intake, so your symptoms do not flare up.
  • Lifestyle changes: This can include limiting stress. Emotional and mental stress can make your symptoms worse. Increasing your physical activity by walking and gentle stretching exercises can help to relieve symptoms and reduce pain.
  • Oral medication: Common oral medications used to help treat IC/BPS include amitriptyline (Elavil), pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron), and hydroxyzine.
  • Bladder instillation: If you have an acute flare of bladder pain, your physician may recommend this form of treatment. This treatment can be rendered in a simple office visit. Your physician will insert a catheter in your urethra up to your bladder. Then a combination of medications will be placed into your bladder to relieve your symptoms.
  • Other treatments: Some have also found relief by means of Botulinum toxin injections, in which small doses of Botox are inserted into your bladder muscle to alleviate pain or, in severe cases, by means of surgery.

When used in conjunction with these treatments, physical therapy exercises can also help relieve pain. To maximize the effectiveness of your treatments, your physician may also suggest that you work with a psychologist or psychiatrist, and other specialists to assist you in managing any additional chronic pain syndromes that may also be present.

If chronic pain in your bladder is causing your quality of life to decline, contact our team at Maiden Lain Medical today to schedule an appointment. Our experts in Manhattan, NY today look forward to giving you the peace of mind you deserve!

Medically Reviewed By

Ron Bakal, MD
Board Certified Urologist

Our doctors who provide this service

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Ron Bakal, MD

Board Certified Urologist

Emily Blanton, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Focused Practice Designation in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery
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Janette Davison, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Focused Practice Designation in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery
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David M. Kaufman, MD

Board Certified Urologist

Kenneth A. Levey, MD MPH FACOG FACS

Board Certified Gynecologist & CEO and Managing Partner of Maiden Lane Medical

Focused Practice Designation in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

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