The goal of treatment is to manage the symptoms.
- Anticholinergic drugs can help improve bladder contraction and emptying. Possible side effects include slowed heart rate, low blood pressure, increased thirst, and constipation.
- Muscle relaxants (such as diazepam) and alpha-1 blockers (prazosin) may be used to reduce the strong urge to urinate or need to urinate frequently.
- Surgery is rarely performed unless a person has severe urinary retention or significant blood in the urine.
- Avoid fluids that irritate the bladder such as alcohol, citrus juices, and caffeine.
- Bladder exercises to re-establish a pattern of regular and complete urination may help. Bladder training exercises involve developing a schedule of times when you should try to urinate, while trying to delay urination at all other times. One method is to force yourself to urinate every 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours, despite any leakage or urge to urinate in between these times. As you become skilled at waiting this long, gradually increase the time intervals by 1/2 hour until you are urinating every 3 to 4 hours.
- Pelvic muscle strengthening exercises called Kegel exercises are used primarily to treat people with stress incontinence. However, these exercises may also help relieve symptoms of urgency related to long-term (chronic) noninfectious cystitis. Performing the exercises properly and regularly increases the method’s success.
- Electrical stimulation to the pelvis may be used as a treatment for noninfectious cystitis, but this is controversial.
Although most cases of cystitis are uncomfortable, they usually resolve over time.
- Ulceration of bladder wall
- Urethral stricture
- Diminished bladder capacity
- Bladder cancer
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of cystitis, or if you have been diagnosed with cystitis and symptoms worsen or new symptoms develop, especially fever, back or flank pain, and vomiting.
Review Date : 1/24/2008
Reviewed By : Marc A. Greenstein, D.O., F.A.C.O.S. Urologist, Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.