I have been shocked at how many women (and some men) regularly suffer from pain or difficulty related to urination. Very often you go through a series of diagnoses, usually starting with cystitis and often progressing as the problem becomes long-term. Urine tests are frequently borderline or normal in chronic cases, although bacteria, cells or blood traces are sometimes found. Conventional treatment tends to be repeated courses of antibiotics, which I find often less and less effect over time. Surgical procedures are also sometimes suggested, but my experience is that these seldom resolve the problem satisfactorily. Drugs such as amitriptyline or gabapentin are also prescribed frequently for pain relief.
One important aspect to understand is that pain does not necessarily mean infection. Chronic (long term) cases of urinary problems may start with a real urinary infection, but the nature of the problem changes over time and antibiotics cease to be effective, as well as having significant health implications of their own. Interstitial Cystitis (IC) in particular gives cystitis-like symptoms, but is not in fact due to an infection. There are a number of important factors that I have found to be usually present in people with these problems. These include a phenomenon known as paradoxical breathing, a well as other factors. In my experience, it is essential for these issues to be identified and treated for lasting improvement to take place.
A Chinese Medicine and Integrated Healthcare approach has much to offer people with both acute cystitis and chronic urinary pain.
See also Pelvic Pain Syndrome