Lifestyle changes, known as "behavioral therapy," are often the first treatments used to manage a chronic bladder health issue called interstitial cystitis (IC). In behavioral therapy, you make some changes in the way you live day-to-day. This may include changing your diet, or practicing methods that may help control your symptoms. Most patients don't get rid of all their symptoms with lifestyle changes, but many report fewer symptoms afterward.
If lifestyle changes and prescription drugs don't work, or pain or side effects interfere with your quality of life, more advanced therapies may be a better choice. You will most likely be referred to a specialist who treats patients with IC, such as a urologist. After reviewing your treatment history, the specialist may suggest Neuromodulation therapy or treatment with Botox®.
Neuromodulation and Botox® are mostly approved for refractory urgency and frequency and overactive bladder (OAB) patients. Patients with IC typically can have urgency and frequency and therefore these treatment options may also work.
Neuromodulation therapy is the name given to a group of treatments that deliver harmless electrical impulses to nerves to change how they work.
Injections of Botox® can also be given if other treatments have not provided adequate symptom control. Small doses of this drug can relax muscles. When injected into the bladder muscle, it may relax the bladder and help with the pain of IC/BPS. This treatment can wear off, and you may need to have another treatment 6 to 9 months after the first.