Interstitial Cystitis


What Is Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial Cystitis, pronounced (in-tur-STISH-ul sis-TIE-tis),is  also known as painful bladder syndrome. IC is a condition of the bladder where you have unexplained pain, sometimes very severe, in the bladder or pelvic area.  This condition is also often accompanied with the frequent urgency to urinate, but only small amounts are produced.  Some people have this urgency as many as 50-60 times daily, even throughout the night.


Symptoms & CausesIC-butterfly

The symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis may include:

  • pain in the pelvic area, ranging from mild to chronic
  • urgent need to urinate
  • urination frequency, even throughout the night
  • pain during sexual intercourse

The cause of Interstitial Cystitis has not been determined, however there are some things that could cause it. The lining of the bladder may have a leak or there could be infection present. The condition could also be inherited.

Interstitial Cystitis is diagnosed in women more often than men. Men may have the same symptoms, but it’s often a case of inflammation of the prostate when they have these symptoms.
It is usually diagnosed in women over the age of 30. Women with red hair and fair skin are at a greater risk to get this disease.
It is also associated with other chronic pain disorders, such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or fibromyalgia.




Although the exact cause is not known, and there is no cure, there are some treatments available to help with managing the pain. If the pain in mild, you can take anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aleve or Advil to help. If the pain in more than those drugs can handle, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant to help relax the bladder and block the pain.



 When To See A Doctor

My recommendation is to see your doctor any time you have persistent or severe bladder pain. It might only be a urinary tract infection, which is no little thing, but it could be something more serious. Your doctor will know which tests to perform to make a firm diagnosis.


More Information

Check out the Urology Care Foundation’s webpage for more information. Sign up for newsletters and also look for a local support group or even a social media group to have someone to talk to who understands your condition.