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    Bladder Discomfort due to Menopause?
    Shayrose19 posted:
    I have been having bladder discomfort/pressure for about 4 months, every day. I am 52, perimenopausal - irregular periods, mild night sweats etc. Nothing major. Bladder feels like UTI symptoms without burning upon urination. No control issues. No additional discomfort with intercourse. Have seen gynocologist and urologist. Tested for UTI several times, urologist has performed cyto, have had pelvic ultrasound and MRI. No answers. No OTC or "bladder relaxation" prescriptions have any effect. Tried modifications in diet, drinking lots of water, minimizing fluids etc. No changes. This is wearing me down. Could this be related to menopause and/or hormones somehow?
    scmom61 responded:
    I am 51 and have had no periods for over 3 years. I also have bladder discomfort every once in a while without the burning, usually about 3 or 4 times a year. I took antibiotics for it a few months back even tho the test showed nothing. And it did nothing to help. A few years ago I had pelvic ultrasound, too, which showed nothing.

    It will come and sometimes feel really strong, and then a few hours later the pain will go away. There has never been an explanation for mine. So maybe it is just another strange symptom of menopause and all the hormonal and other physical changes we go thru. But it is annoying and worrisome. I feel for you!
    Shayrose19 replied to scmom61's response:
    Thanks for your reply. I guess since anything "serious" has been ruled out, I will just deal with it and see if it calms down. It does seem as though it gets slightly worse just before I have a period, which are unpredictable these days. This is why I thought it just might be a menopause symptom. Sigh.
    sugarbooger4182 replied to Shayrose19's response:
    You may want to look into IC if you have not already. It has to due with your bladder nerves causing pretty severe pain similar to menstrual cramps. I suffer from this and there are several different treatments.
    Shayrose19 replied to sugarbooger4182's response:
    Thank you for replying to my post. The urologist did a scope to look for IC and said he saw no irritation that would indicate that diagnosis. I actually thought the scope would confirm it as it seems like my symptoms definitely sounded the same. Out of curiosity, what are the treatments for IC and do they help?
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to Shayrose19's response:
    Dear Shayrose19,
    A couple of thoughts. Have you tried any vaginal estrogens? If bladder dryness is giving you some discomfort, which is always a possibility, some vaginal estrogen (in cream or vaginal tablet or ring) form might help; although you don't get significant systemic levels, some estrogen will migrate up to the adjacent urethra and bladder and help. It's certainly worth a try. Unfortunately women with interstitial cystitis often do have normal cystoscopies; IC is a clinical diagnosis based on symptoms much of the time. There are two national IC organizations with websites, which do have some helpful information, including dietary modifications that help. The mainstay of medical therapy is a drug called Elmiron, which helps build up the lining of the bladder.
    So do think about trying some vaginal estrogen, if you haven't already, and look into some of the IC management information.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane
    Shayrose19 replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
    Thank you for your suggestions. IC had been my hunch all along but once I had the normal cystoscopy, nothing further was suggested along those lines and we moved on with searching for answers. I will definitely look into IC in detail since other avenues have come up empty.
    One other issue of note that I have dealt with in the past year is recurrent BV. Do BV and IC ever go hand in hand - even though we're talking two different areas, although near in proximity, of the body?
    Thank you so much for your time in answering questions for all of us.
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to Shayrose19's response:
    Dear Shayrose,
    In general the answer would be no strong link; however, in perimenopausal women who have vaginal dryness, their bladder symptoms can worsen too, and there is in general an overgrowth of "bad guy" bacteria in dry vaginas, which is part of the BV picture. So for women with dryness, some vaginal estrogen may help both the vagina and the bladder.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane
    Shayrose19 replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
    I will definitely look into vaginal estrogen. I'll update once I try it out. Thank you yet again! I feel much better with info received here than surfing the internet looking for answers.

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