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new here, but maybe in the wrong place?

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  • new here, but maybe in the wrong place?

    Hi. My name is Karen. I'm 31, and about a year ago (right after I started dating the love of my life, wouldn't it figure) I began having chronic UTIs. I've had about ten or twelve in the past year. I have just gotten a referral for a urologist - I hope I can get some clarity there.
    Sometimes my urine has shown bacteria (usually staph), and sometimes not. The antibiotics always alleviate the symptoms completely by the end of the first day of taking them, so it would *seem* that this is bacterial, and not IC.
    It is maddening, enfuriating, frustrating, and depressing. I just want to feel normal!
    I'm a bit anxious about seeing the urologist. I have never had a catheter, and it scares me a little. But I do want to get some answers (if any can be had). In the meantime, I want to find out whatever I can about prevention - that is, beyond drinking water/cranberry, peeing/washing before and after sex. I'm especially interested in homeopathic preventions.
    Also - and this may seem like too much info, but - my boyfriend is quite, um, large. In all seriousness, I I'd like to know if others found this to be a factor. I'm desparate to find out whatever I can to prevent this properly!
    Today is the first time I have joined any support group, and I have to tell you - it makes me feel so much better to here that I'm not alone. I hope I have not barged in on a support group that is just for those who suffer from IC.
    Thanks for listening!

  • #2
    you have painful bladder so that counts. I hope you don't have IC.
    you will find a wealth of info in there pages. let us know how things go at the doctors
    'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'


    • #3
      Dear Karen,

      Welcome to the ICN!! We are glad you found us. Unfortunately, until you get to the Uro, you arent going to be sure as to whether or not you have IC. There are several tests they will do if they suspect it. Though some here have been d/xed on symptoms alone, most are d/xed by Cystoscopy with hydrodistention or thru a Potassium Sensitivity Test. There is alot more information about IC, the signs and symptoms, how it is d/xed, and treated in the Patient Handbook. It is located at You will also find the information there about the tests I mentioned, as well as a Diet for IC.

      At this point, that would be my best advice, to go on the IC Diet. Since you arent sure if you have IC or not, going on the IC diet wont hurt you if you dont have it, and for most IC patients, it is the first step to feeling better.
      When you read the IC diet in the patient handbook, you will notice that cranberry juice is a huge no-no for IC because it is so acidic. It makes most IC patients go into a flare where they have a significant increase in pain. But, I wanted to mention that specifically, just to be safe. (We know that most people who have UTIs, bladder infections and kidney infections drink it, but in most cases, people with IC do not have infections all the time, even though we may be feel like we do. (There are some exceptions, but generally speaking most test negative to standard urine cultures when flaring.) This is not to say that we dont ever get true UTIs, because we can get them, just like anyone else. There is also a subset of IC patients who get them way more than the general population. (I am one of this group.) But, the average IC patient doesn't generally have any more UTIs than anyone else. I hope this makes sense.

      There are lots of self help tips in the Patient handbook and on alot of threads here on the boards. I hope that you will find some here that help you get to feeling better.

      I hope you dont have IC, but if you do, we will be here to help you and support you any way that we can.



      • #4
        One more thing I forgot to tell you! Regarding sex, your Boyfriend's size would not cause IC. However, if sex is painful, there is a new website that you might find helpful. It is It was created by Jill Osborne, who also created this site. It is a great site where you will see lots of tips to make it less painful. Nothing there can be read by anyone except the members. All of the posts there are written tastefully. Most of the members are ladies, though there are a few men too. But, I think you will feel very comfortable reading and or posting there if painful sex is a problem (whether because of IC or because of your partner's size.)

        Hope this helps!



        • #5
          Another note: Antibiotics do have anti-inflammatory qualities so even if you don't have infection, they can help relieve the pain.

          And I second the motion that you stop the cranberry juice until you know what's wrong. If you do have IC, it's the worst possible thing.

          Stay safe

          Elmiron Eye Disease Information Center -
          Elmiron Eye Disease Fact Sheet (Downloadable) -

          Have you checked the ICN Shop?
          Click on ICN Shop at the top of this page. You'll find Bladder Builder and Bladder Rest, both of which we are finding have excellent results.

          Patient Help:


          Diet list:

          AUA Guidelines:

          I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

          Anyone who says something is foolproof hasn't met a determined fool


          • #6
            Wow, Thanks so much for the warm welcome!
            So far, I have not noticed any irritation from cranberry. But I will stick to water just in case.
            As to my boyfriend's size - I know it can't cause IC, but I wondered whether it was contributing to to the UTIs (possibly irritating me or pushing more bacteria around). Sex is not painful at all. But since the UTIs started happening when I started having sex with him, I wondered whether it was a factor. (I had never had sex-related UTI before).
            May I just say that my boyfriend is very loving, understanding, and supportive. He is not disturbed by any of this (except the fact that it causes me to suffer) and only wants to do whatever he can to help.
            I have just called the uro-gyn...but got voicemail! Oh well, patience, patience. I'll probably have to wait just to get an appointment. I'll keep you posted!