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Bladder issues - please help..

(15 Posts)
bananamilkshake1 Wed 19-Nov-14 13:51:13

Hi there,

I have been having bladder problems for almost a year. At first I thought it might be cystitis (although at 48, I've never had anything like that before), so I went to the GP, gave a sample and waited. Results came back - no bug - but I was sent away with a course of antibiotics which seemed to ease the discomfort a little.

The symptoms soon returned once I had finished the course (increased frequency, night time waking to use the loo, burning, painful sex etc) , so I went back to the GP, provided another sample & got the same result. i.e. no bacteria but high white blood cell count. I asked for more antibiotics which they gave and went away hoping another course would deal with the issue.

Sadly, this was not the end & many months, countless urine samples and courses of antibiotics later, I was finally referred (at my insistence) to a urologist. I did urodynamic studies which found I seemed to be retaining urine which might account for some of the issues. This was in September. I was then told I would need to go back to see the consultant for further tests. This appointment happened Monday just gone when I went to the hospital for catheters and bladder function tests.

Sadly, I was in so much pain when they inserted the catheter, that they had to abandon the tests. I provided another sample whilst I was there which showed high white blood cells and blood in the urine which they are sending off for further tests & I should hear back tomorrow. The next steps are to (hopefully) give me something to calm the inflammation then (joy of joys) go back to have a camera inserted into my urethra to see what's going on in my bladder.

So, I'm wondering what on earth might be wrong with me. Everything feels so inflamed inside and for the past couple of days my urethra has actually felt bruised after I've used the loo. I've had enough antibiotics this year to sink a battleship & still I have the pain and frequency issues. It's affecting my relationship, I can't run at the moment (the bouncing up & down makes me feel like I need to loo constantly) so I'm gaining weight and I feel pretty low about it all.

Has anyone had similar and how did you get to the bottom of what the root cause might be? n.b. smear tests up to date & clear & I've even been scanned for ovarian cancer as I was so convinced this might be the reason.

Can anyone help?

pinkfrocks Wed 19-Nov-14 15:47:25

This sounds like classic lack of oestrogen in peri menopause.
It's often confused with infections when what's going on is a thinning of the lining of the bladder and urethra due to falling levels of oestrogen.

Have you had any other menopausal symptoms such as irregular periods?

My advice is to keep off caffeine ( tea& coffee) booze, fruit juices, spicy foods, tomatoes and drink weak herbal teas or water for a while.

Ask your dr to give you local (vaginal) oestrogen ( creams or tiny pessaries) which will help- but might take a few weeks and up to 6 months.

I'd avoid the camera as it may well cause more problems if you are already sore and there is always the risk of infection.

Have a look at this site

[[]]e and also have a look at the site including the forum where there are many threads on this topic.

SageSeymour Wed 19-Nov-14 16:00:52

Yes I had almost identical issues and had blood tests, antibiotics, creams, ultrasound scans , a cystoscopy and finally a CT scan of my kidneys.

My symptoms were like a constant feeling of cystitis - pain, dragging feeling , needing to wee, burning etc etc. antibiotics didn't work, there was no infection but all my urine samples were full of blood - not visible to the eye.

The CT scan was just to complete the investigations and they didn't expect to find anything. They did .. A large kidney stone. I'm due to have it shock waved in a few weeks time

So that's my story . Might be worth bearing in mind for you? It was the last thing I expected

In the short term, keep yourself hydrated but don't go mad with water as no need. Add bicarb of soda to water as this is soothing. Take regular painkillers and keep warm. Cut down on sugar. These things all helped me in varying degrees

Sympathies. I know it's miserable. I suffered for almost 6 months until diagnosis last month

SageSeymour Wed 19-Nov-14 16:02:48

And I was convinced it was an ovarian cyst due to a horrible pain in my right hand side. The ultrasound showed nothing. I was then convinced it was interstitial cystitis because three lots of antibiotics did nothing. But the cystoscopy showed my bladder was normal. I also couldn't really exercise - it's been bad enough working whilst feeling like it need the loo at the time.

SageSeymour Wed 19-Nov-14 16:05:34

Sorry to go on! Yes blood in the urine and white cells - had all of that.

I'm pretty convinced you have exactly what I have as I match your symptoms completely. My kidney stone measures 10mm which is quite large. It causes the symptoms but won't pass because it's just too big. But it irritates the kidney causing the blood in all the samples. I'm over 40 so when I was initially referred for bladder investigations it was within a week because they were checking for bladder cancer.

It's not been a fun six months! Please ask your doctor for a CT scan of your kidneys

pinkfrocks Wed 19-Nov-14 16:24:32

How horrid for you.

But- kidney stones can be symptomless until they free themselves and are passed; my mum had one and had to call the dr out and be given morphine for the pain.

blood can be picked up if it's a microscopic amount and it can be from sore urethra which is aggravated from passing urine which is acidic.

Keep drinking bland liquids and of course not using bubble baths or washing hair in bath etc as anything like that can irritate. You might find that a cold compress- like a cool flannel or an ice pack wrapped in a towel- between your legs might help reduce the pain.

SageSeymour Wed 19-Nov-14 16:29:03

I always associated kidney stones with horrific pain as they passed I think. Never really thought about it! I just seem to have low level symptoms and one massive flare up which was probably an attack of renal colic as the stone maybe shifted.

SageSeymour Wed 19-Nov-14 16:29:50

I always associated kidney stones with horrific pain as they passed I think. Never really thought about it! I just seem to have low level symptoms and one massive flare up which was probably an attack of renal colic as the stone maybe shifted.

SageSeymour Wed 19-Nov-14 16:36:54

I always associated kidney stones with horrific pain as they passed I think. Never really thought about it! I just seem to have low level symptoms and one massive flare up which was probably an attack of renal colic as the stone maybe shifted.

SageSeymour Wed 19-Nov-14 16:37:07


bananamilkshake1 Thu 20-Nov-14 15:18:03

Thanks both for your replies - although I feel for anyone going through this, it is weirdly comforting to know I'm not alone. I swear my GP thought I was making it all up given there was no bacterial "evidence"

Well, just had my test results back from Monday & no surprises that they can't find any infection in my urine. Again. . So, I have an appointment with my GP for emergency antibiotics to keep in stock (which do help when I get bad flare ups) plus also I'm going to ask for oestrogen cream. I have heard about this before but given I'm still on the pill, I thought it wasn't related. Still, I figure anything's worth a go.

I now have to wait for my next appointment for a cystoscopy and given that they can't treat the inflammation, I have the option of a general for it. I know it sounds like madness to have a general for this, but the pain on Monday was unbearable so I guess I have no choice.

I'll take a look at those links too.

bananamilkshake1 Thu 20-Nov-14 15:20:26

Sorry pinkfrocks - you asked if I had any menopause symptoms - I am on the pill still so I guess that will mask some. My periods are controlled by the pill so are still regular. I have been getting night sweats & sleeplessness over the past 2-3 years though which I assumed was due to peri menopause. I just didn't expect the bladder issues - they are by far the worse.

DayLillie Thu 20-Nov-14 15:33:51

I started having problems whilst on the pill, especially the week off - mostly urge incontinence.

After an op, gynae prescribed vagifem for menopause. I did think I had to use straight away, but after a string of 'infections' with negative swabs and frequent wet knicker disasters a GP said I should be using it. I have only had problems since when I have tried to cut down the amount I use. It works, and I have not had all the tests.

DayLillie Thu 20-Nov-14 15:34:31

I didn't think (obviously!)

Ilovefluffysheep Fri 21-Nov-14 19:47:34

It's defini not madness to have a general for a cystoscopy, it's how most hospitals do them. I've had them in 3 different hospitals and had a general each time. As well as looking in with a camera they tend to fill your bladder up to see what it's capacity is, plus a dilation can give some relief for certain problems such as interstitial cystitus.

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