Together, endometriosis and interstitial cystitis account for about 70% of cases of chronic pelvic pain from Gynecological causes. Interestingly, the symptoms of each condition almost completely overlap. Because endometriosis is typically treated by Gynecologists and Interstitial cystitis is usually treated by Urologists, concurrent diagnoses are often missed during a conventional, single-spoecialty work-up for pelvic pain.
This is a superb example of why a thoroough, multi-disciplinary evaluation of pelvic pain is critical. In the Gynecologist's hands, the patient is evaluated, usually treated with oral contraceeptives for a period, undergoes laparoscopy then continued treatment for endometriosis. Because interstitial cystitis is never diagnosed, the chronic pelvic pain does not completely respond to treatment. This non-response often sets up a dangerous path where progressive treatments, sometimes including hysterectomy and removal of ovaries resulting in menopause, ensues. The patient is dis-seerved because even after hysterectomy and surgical castratio the pain persists.
Reciprocally, when the patient is evaluated by a Urologist she is often given various courses of antibiotics believing her pain and dysuria are due to infection. Ultimately cystoscopy is performed and the diagnosis of interstitial cystitis is made. When treatment of interstitial cystitis doe not result in resolution of pain and dysuria, patients often become disccouraged and decide to live with the pain, never knowing endometriosis was never diagnosed or treated.
Both conditions almost overlap completely. Because endometriosis is typically treated by Gynecologists and Interstitial cystitis is usually treated by Urologists, concurrent diagnoses are often missed during a conventional, single-spoecialty work-up for pelvic pain.
Use the buttons on the left to learn about Endometriosis and Interstitial Cystitis and how both conditions are treated here at Desert Women's Care.
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