Is Erbium/Neodymium Laser Combination Therapy an Effective Treatment Option for Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome With Vulvodynia?Nobuo Okui, Machiko Okui, Marco Gambacciani
Cureus 14(11): e31228. doi:10.7759/cureus.31228
Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) is often associated with vulvodynia and poor vaginal health. IC/BPS causes pelvic and bladder pain and urinary symptoms, which considerably reduce the quality of life. To date, this condition has no definitive cure. Local estrogen therapy (LET) has been proposed as a treatment for vulvodynia and poor vaginal health to improve the symptoms of IC/BPS. However, chronic LET could be contraindicated or not desired in some patients. The present study reports the case of a 55-year-old postmenopausal woman with IC/BPS who was successfully treated with combined vaginal erbium (VEL)/neodymium (Nd:YAG) laser (VEL+Nd:YAG) therapy. The patient presented with a five-year history of pelvic pain and urinary frequency. Direct approaches for the bladder (such as hydrodistension, anticholinergic drugs, and transurethral Hunner lesion ablation/cauterization) were conducted with inconsistent results. Immediately prior to the patient’s presentation, LET was administered for 12 weeks; however, this therapy resulted in mild improvement and poor patient satisfaction. After presentation, VEL+Nd:YAG therapy was conducted once a month for three months. The patient reported considerable decrease in pain during urination. The improved symptoms were maintained for six months after the last therapy session. These results suggest that VEL+Nd:YAG therapy is an effective method for improving symptoms in patients with IC/BPS.