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Bladder Blues

Young woman is experiencing extreme bladder sensitivity. Is it the result of over masturbation, or something else? What can cause this bladder sensitivity at such a young age?

Case #: 514


I am a twenty-year-old female and have been masturbating since around the age of eight. I began masturbating kind of on accident and used to do it quite a bit. Now, although I am married, I masturbate quite a bit less. I also am a very avid coffee drinker and have been since about eighteen.

So, I'm not sure if this is a result from the masturbation or just too much coffee (although, because of this I have stopped drinking coffee excessively and now drink perhaps one cup per month.). I have been having bladder problems in the sense that I have to go to the restroom sometimes as often as every half hour and sometimes discover that I didn't really need to use the restroom, but instead only felt like it.

Also, my husband has to be really careful when cuddling me because the slightest amount of pressure around my bladder makes me have to use the restroom. (Also, just so you'll know, I'm not pregnant.) Is this a serious medical condition? Do you have any idea of the problem?


Unfortunately, it sounds like you’ve developed interstitial cystitis (I.C.). This is a chronic condition, which means it cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be treated with medication and thoughtful eating habits. The symptoms you listed are very common for I.C., which is characterized by a feeling of pressure and a need to urinate, as well as outright pain in the bladder area.

My best friend was diagnosed with I.C. in high school, but with changes she made to her diet the symptoms have become much lessened.

Those Scurvy Nerves!

Interstitial cystitis is known to flare up in response to triggers such as extended sitting, stress, sex, menstruation, or exercise. It doesn’t solely affect women—it can target children and men—but most of the people who experience it are female. Research indicates that I.C. affects the nerves that lead from the bladder to the brain that tell the brain when the bladder is filled.

Because of this disruption, people who have I.C. often feel an almost constant need to urinate, but when they use the restroom, there is a very low volume of urine. It is thought that sufferers of I.C. might also have small holes in the epithelium of the bladder, allowing urine to irritate the bladder walls, causing a painful sensation.

Infection vs. Condition

It is important to ascertain that there is no presence of bacteria in the urine, thereby signaling a urinary tract or bladder infection. People with I.C. will not have bacteria in their urine, as the pain and pressure are not a response to an infection, but rather a chronic condition.

Irritant Defense

If you begin eliminating irritants from your diet, you will probably notice a lessening in your bladder sensitivity. Interstitial cystitis patients are recommended to refrain from the “Four Cs”: foods high in vitamin C (strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, etc.), citrus, caffeine (including chocolate), and carbonated beverages. To begin with, you might also want to consider alcohol, pickled foods, spices, and artificial sweeteners as potential irritants.

I’m sure this seems like you’re going to have to eat white rice and bran for the rest of your life, but fear not! Try a completely I.C. friendly diet for a few weeks, to allow your body to process all the irritants you might already have working on your system, then begin to reintroduce “problem foods” into your diet. See which ones affect you the most. It might be that you can tolerate citrus and high vitamin C foods if you abstain from all caffeine, or some other combination.

Complete Restoration

A prescription drug known as Pentosan is currently the I.C. drug of choice. It relieves the symptoms, while allowing you to continue your daily lifestyle. It’s thought to restore the lining of the bladder, reducing inflammation, so results could take a while to emerge.

Prescription drugs have been known to worsen symptoms. A more natural version of Pentosan can be found in Natural Relief Formula for Painful Bladder & Interstitial Cystitis. It also reduces inflammation, and helps to rebuild the lining of the bladder, resulting in lessened urge to urinate, and a healthier bladder overall.

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