Interstitial Cystitis Community
Debilitating chronic pain; please help
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Debilitating chronic pain; please help

I'm a nineteen year old female who has been suffering with chronic urethral pain for two years. I believe it began when I lost my virginity, and had a series of several severe UTIs that had gone untreated, as I had been going to boarding school at the time and had to access to a real doctor. I rule out the possibility that it is an STD because we're sexually monogamous and we were both virgins.
The pain resembles that of a UTI and most often starts about ten minutes after I urinate in the morning and persists for about thirty minutes to two hours. Occasionally, it happens after I urinate very late at night. Sometimes the pain is so excruciating that it interferes with my life. I miss class, miss work, and cancel dates with friends to wait out the pain sometimes. It's extremely frustrating. The best way I can describe the pain is that it feels like an open wound. I've visited the doctor three times in the past for my problem and they were all so perplexed by it that, even after testing negative for a UTI, they just prescribed me some antibiotics and sent me on my merry way. Needless to say they didn't help. I really don't want to have to put up with this problem for the rest of my life; I just want to visit a knowledgeable, helpful doctor who knows how to treat this problem and doesn't treat me like I'm conjuring up fairy tales in my head for attention.
I've tried all sorts of things to deal with the pain. Most only provide me with temporary relief before the symptoms come back again the following day. I find that Azo tablets help with the pain, and sometimes simply walking around and drinking water simultaneously help ward it off if I feel another spell coming on. However, I just started drinking these protein shakes from herbalife, and I noticed my problem was absent the following days that I drank them. I wonder if the pain could be linked to a protein or vitamin deficiency, as I have been a vegetarian for the past six years.
I came to this forum because the symptoms of interstitial cystitis are closest, but not identical, to mine. I'm not certain whether or not I have it yet, but I would like to get tested soon to see if I do. I'm sure you all were just as frustrated as I am when your symptoms started occurring for the first time, so I'm assuming you have spent as much time researching urinary health and possible diseases as I have. So, drawing upon your knowledge, I'm asking your opinion: what do you think it could possibly be? How can I relieve my chronic pain?
All help and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Avatar_m_tn
Excuse me. I had NO access to a real doctor when I went to boarding school... Sorry, it's super late and I don't know how to edit my posts. D:
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