summeroptimist2013-200Ever wonder how your urologist stays up to date on the latest treatments? The motivated ones visit the annual American Urological Association conference, a gathering of more than 20,000 domestic and international urologists and residents. This years conference (AUA 2013) was held in May in San Diego (CA), a lovely setting for often serious discussions about the diagnosis and treatment of urological conditions such as: prostate & bladder cancer, traumatic injuries, resistant infection, kidney disorders, sexual dysfunction and, yes, interstitial cystitis / bladder pain syndrome. It’s the highlight of year for the IC community because it brings together leaders in research, clinical care and patient support from around the world.

In addition to the tried and true course on IC taught by Phil Hanno MD and David Burks MD, there were two fabulous courses that discussed IC within the context of chronic pelvic pain that were, in my opinion, almost revolutionary. AUA has always been a bastion for evidence based research and, in years past, discussions rarely tread “outside of the box,” i.e. the bladder. But with growing consensus that IC/BPS is a chronic and complex pelvic pain syndrome, the AUA is now acknowledging the critical role that pelvic floor muscles play. Noted physical therapist Rhonda Kotarinos PT was given the opportunity to train urologists on the nuance of pelvic floor evaluation.

The second trend was an acknowledgement that many patients simply cannot afford therapy. Lecturers such as Robert Evans MD gave strong recommendations for OTC products that can have similar effects. The supplements Prelief, CystoProtek, CystaQ and Desert Harvest Aloe were recommended multiple times, along with the OTC cream Traumeel. This was a remarkable and refreshing change of direction that gives both doctors and patients more options to explore.

Read our full, comprehensive report in the Summer 2013 of the IC Optimist Magazine!