What is Interstitial Cystitis?
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.
The exact cause of interstitial cystitis (IC) remains a mystery, but researchers have identified a number of different factors that may contribute to the development of the condition. Many researchers believe a trigger (caused by one or more events) may initially damage the bladder or bladder lining, and ultimately lead to the development of IC. Symptoms range from mild to severe. For some patients, the symptoms may come and go, and for others, they don't go away. IC/BPS is not an infection, but it may feel like a bladder infection. Women with IC/BPS may feel pain when having sex. The more severe cases of IC/BPS can affect your life and your loved ones. Some people with IC/BPS have other health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and other pain syndromes.
Interstitial Cystitis Treatments
There are many available treatment options to help relieve your symptoms of bladder pain, urgency, and frequency. A combination of these treatments is the best approach to managing your IC.
- Bladder trauma (such as from pelvic surgery)
- Bladder overdistention (anecdotal cases suggest onset after long periods without access to bathroom facilities)
- Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
- Autoimmune disorder
- Bacterial infection (cystitis)
- Primary neurogenic inflammation (hypersensitivity or inflammation of pelvic nerves)
- Spinal cord trauma
Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology
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