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Dr. Tharun
Dr. Tharun, Urology Resident
Category: Urology
Satisfied Customers: 3682
Experience:  MBBS, DNB surgery and presently working as Urology resident towards the degree of Urologist.
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I started to have an increase in frequency when urinating for

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I started to have an increase in frequency when urinating for about a week. I usually feel like I have to pee most of the time. When I pee, it is not painful. There is also a mild burning/sting around my left labia and clitoris sometimes. the urge seems to be coming from the urethra. I went to the doctor and my urinalysis was negative for bacteria. I am so afraid this is Interstitial cystitis and my life will be debilitated. What could this be? and can I live a normal life? Is it treatable? PLEASE HELP! I am freaking out.

Do you have any pain in the abdomen ?

Any discharge from the vagina ?

History of stones?

Is cipro & pyridium helping ?

Has this happened before ?

Please let me know

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no pain in the abdomen


no discharge


no history of stones


I only took cipro and pyridium 1 day (different days) and they didn't seem to help


this never happened before (had sevaeral UTI's in the past but none recently)

HI Paulina ,

Just having frequency of urination doesn't mean you have interstitial cystitis.It is a altogether a different condition.It usually presents with pain in the bladder region with minimal amounts of urine and sense of relief on emptying it.So the person goes to the toilet again and again to empty the bladder to get relief.
This is not the case here.It is pure frequency you are having with some discomfort in the genital region.

In most probability it is an urine infection which failed to get detected on tests.Other causes could be stress/ anxiety induced frequency, stones in the bladder or overactive bladder.
You can continue the Cipro and pyridium.You can repeat the urine test just to confirm that we didn't miss the infection.
If the symptoms persist even after full course of Cipro , then you should go for ultrasound of the abdomen to rule out any gynecological issues.Sometimes heavy uterus and ovaries can press on the bladder and cause the frequency.It will also detect any stones too.

Interstitial cystitis is a very rare diagnosis and only considered when all other conditions have been ruled out.

Just try some cranberry juice and continue the medications.

I hope this will help you settle down the anxiety you are facing .


I hope
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I should have elaborated that I am urinating more frequently because I feel like there is an urgency in my urethra most of the time. Also the dipstick was 1+ for RBC. I also had 2 cultures sent out from different doctors and both were negative for bacteria. Could it be urethritis, trichomoniasis? could it be autoimmune disease that is attacking my urinary tissue? I did have idiopathic uticaria for 5 days about a month ago and was put on prednisone for 1.5 weeks. Are these set of symptoms commonly seen in women? do they get better? Sorry if I sound a little too paranoid.


RBC's again can be present in an infection or a stone.So there must be cause for this problem.
Yes this could be urethritis - may be swab test would identify the infection.

Jumping on to auto-immune disease would be too fast at this stage when you had the symptoms only for 7 days.

These symptoms are usually seen in women with urinary infection.It is long way before we label it as something idiopathic.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

okay thank you,

A few more questions and I will be done. I apologize for the excessiveness.


Is it common to still have an infection present if the urine culture is negative? why wouldn't the test pick it up if it is the gold standard? Does it check for both gram negative and positive bacteria? Is it possible for yeast to grow in the Urinary tract?


Does a swab typically pick up an infection better than a urine sample.


and also wouldn't you see RBS with IC as well as possible WBC?


what is the success rate of treatments for IC? to my knowledge not much helps for this disease. Is it manageable so a person can live a normal life?


Thank you


Sometimes when the infection is mild and bacterial load is not very high, the cultures can miss it.Also if you are already on antibiotics, cultures will always be negative.
Cultures detect both type of bacteria.

Yes, Yeast can grown in the urinary tract.But it is more of a genital skin affliction rather than a urinary tract infection.In cases of urethritis, swab test may be better as initial urine is always discarded in urine sample tests.

IC would show WBCs too. Again it is a rare condition which usually shows up at the age of 40.The average time span between the symptoms and diagnosis is 4-5 years.

IC is not completely understood disease and hence the treatments are also not fixed and there are lot of if and buts in it.It is too early to discuss about IC treatment now.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you for the information.

You are welcome.
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