Pamela, I have had many cysto's and for me they are very uncomfortable. I always have mine under anesthesia. I would never do one without it, but that's just me. When it's over, I have a lot of irritation, but that's probably because I have had so many of them as well as kidney stones, stints, bladder and kidney infections. I always have blood in my urine and since I had a cysto last year I refused to get another one as it is most likely stones and infection. It was fine a year ago, no cancer so I'm going to wait as long as possible before I have to get another one.
You are right from my understanding, cycto's are a lot easier on women but I still wouldn't have one without anesthesia. If you are someone who has a high tolerance for pain and discomfort then it probably wouldn't be that bad. Even docs disagree on whether they are that bad or not. My ex-uro thinks they are no big deal but my nephrologist agrees with me that they are better done under anesthesia. Because I have to have so many procedures and surgeries, I have really begun to try and reduce my exposure to anesthesia, and I wish I could tolerate a cycto without any.