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Interstitial Cystitis 

What is interstitial cystitis? 

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that is characterized by pain and pressure in the bladder. It falls under the umbrella category of painful bladder syndrome. It mainly impacts females, although males can be affected.

What are the symptoms of interstitial cystitis?

Symptoms can vary between individuals, and they can vary in severity. Some people experience flare-ups triggered by certain events, such as menstruation or stress.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain in the pelvis, can be chronic
  • A persistent need to urinate
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain while the bladder fills, can be relieved by urinating

What causes interstitial cystitis?

Medical professionals are unsure of the exact cause of this condition, but they suspect that many factors play a role. Medical professionals have looked into defects in the lining of the bladder, infections, allergies, genetics, and autoimmune reactions. 

There are risk factors that have been identified. They include having fair skin, having red hair, being female, being 30 years old or older, and having a chronic pain disorder. 

How is interstitial cystitis diagnosed?

Doctors will look at your medical history, conduct a pelvic exam, use urine tests, perform a bladder biopsy, perform a cystoscopy, conduct a potassium sensitivity test, and perform a urine cytology.

What are the treatments for interstitial cystitis?

Finding the correct treatment can be difficult and use a trial and error system. It often includes a combination of methods. One of these methods is physical therapy, while another is nerve stimulation. A variety of oral medications can be used as well, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistamines, pentosan polysulfate sodium, and tricyclic antidepressants. Other treatment options include bladder distension, infusing medications straight into the bladder, and surgery. 

Where can I find out more about interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial Cystitis Articles