Survivor Story: Kristine

The Courage to Try New Treatment Options Brings Success

In August of 2018, Kristine woke up in the middle of the night with bladder pain and an urgency to go to the bathroom. She went to the doctor and was told she had a urinary tract infection (UTI) and was prescribed an antibiotic to take for three days. Ten days later she was still feeling symptoms and went to a walk-in clinic. She was prescribed an antibiotic to take for five days. It didn’t help. She then went to see a urologist. Her urologist prescribed her ten days of an antibiotic, but the urgency and pain didn’t go away.

Her UTI tests started coming back negative, and there was no sign of infection. Her urologist thought she might have overactive bladder and prescribed her a new medication. It did not help. She chose to have the doctor look inside her bladder, but there was no sign of disease.

Her doctor thought she might have interstitial cystitis or bladder pain syndrome and started a treatment where the doctor puts medicine directly inside the bladder. That didn’t work either.

She read about a new type of UTI test that can find tens of thousands of different kinds of bacteria in the bladder. This test can help doctors better know what kind of antibiotic may best help. She asked for the test, and her doctor ran it for her. She had 12 different types of bacteria in her bladder. She then started a new antibiotic that targeted these types of bacteria to clear her infection.

At the same time, her doctor told her about pelvic floor therapy. This is a form of physical therapy to help you better control your pelvic floor muscles. People with pelvic floor problems may have urinary problems such as urinary incontinence, an urgent need to pass urine, pain when passing urine or not being able to fully empty their bladder. It turned out that the muscles around Kristine’s bladder were so tight that it increased feelings of discomfort and pain.

Since starting therapy, she has been diagnosed with pelvic floor dysfunction and has been going to treatment for many years with great progress.

Her advice to those going through the same journey is to do what you can to find a doctor who listens to you about your symptoms and talks with you about many treatment options. She also feels it is of great value to have the courage to ask for and try new therapies, because they may vastly increase your quality of life.

For more information on pelvic floor muscles and the important part they play in bladder health, click here.

For more information, check out this Urology Care Podcast episode on Interstitial Cystitis. Teri shares her journey living with IC and Dr. Suzette E. Sutherland, MD, MS, FPMRS answers some questions to help listeners better understand this condition. Stay tuned at the end of this episode for an “Ask the Experts” segment, where Teri will get to ask Dr. Sutherland some questions from a patient’s perspective.

Read more Survivor Stories here!  |  FALL 2021  |  UROLOGYHEALTH extra