Interstitial cystitis (IC) bladder pain syndrome (BPS) is a chronic bladder health issue. It is a feeling of pain and pressure in the bladder area. Along with this pain are lower urinary tract symptoms which have lasted for more than 6 weeks, without having an infection or other clear causes.
It affects approximately 4-12 million people in the US alone, most of whom are women. The condition can affect anyone regardless of age, race, gender or ethnicity.
Interstitial cystitis Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis vary from person to person. If you have interstitial cystitis, your symptoms may also vary over time, periodically flaring in response to common triggers, such as menstruation, sitting for a long time, stress, exercise and sexual activity.
Interstitial cystitis signs and symptoms include:
- Pain in your pelvis or between the vagina and anus in women
- Pain between the scrotum and anus in men (perineum)
- Chronic pelvic pain
- A persistent, urgent need to urinate
- Frequent urination, often of small amounts, throughout the day and night (up to 60 times a day)
- Pain or discomfort while the bladder fills and relief after urinating.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
Symptoms severity is different for everyone, and some people may experience symptom-free periods.
Although signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis may resemble those of a chronic urinary tract infection, there's usually no infection. However, symptoms may worsen if a person with interstitial cystitis gets a urinary tract infection.
Causes of Interstitial Cystitis
While the true cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown, there are several theories as to what causes the condition.
Some possible causes include:
- Defects in the epithelium (lining) of the urinary bladder causing irritation
- Bladder trauma or overdistention
- Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
- Autoimmune disorders
- Primary neurogenic inflammation
- Spinal cord trauma
- Genetics or heredity
Interstitial Cystitis Treatment
Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology, PC
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