Becoming Your Own Medical Advocate

Becoming your own medical advocate is incredibly important. Especially if your healthcare system is working against you.

When I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome last year, I expected there to be a standard treatment plan set for me, given to me by my urologist. Instead, I was sent on my way with little information about the condition, a new pill to try and a pat on my back telling me to keep doing what I was doing, and a ‘see you in 3 months’.

A lot of my current knowledge about my conditions have come from my own time put towards research, not given to me by a medical team. I purchased many books dedicated to IC and pelvic pain. I read them front to back, and spent hours on google researching the best treatments before deciding on what treatments to try first.

If you’re starting out on your journey to find relief and answers to your bladder/pelvic pain, I would highly recommend these books:

  1. The Interstitial Cystitis Solution by Nicole Cozean + Jesse Cozean
  2. Heal Pelvic Pain by Amy Stein
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Womens Pain

Why Doctors Take Women’s Pain Less Seriously

Ask any woman about her personal experience with pain and healthcare, and it is likely that you will hear stories like mine.

In my late teens/early 20s I dealt a lot of pelvic pain and chronic urinary tract infections. You can read more about my story, here. No matter how much I tried to prevent pain or infections from returning, I would still get them. I was constantly battling pelvic pain and the most my doctor did was give me refills on antibiotics and continuously gave me the talk about “proper hygiene”. Not ever, did they want to explore other possibilities to why I was so susceptible to infections and pain. The “wipe front to back” speech got old, really fast. A few years into this pattern, and I unfortunately had a reaction to the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin, so I finally had enough and asked that I see a urologist.

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