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Interstitial Cystitis

Also called: Bladder pain syndrome, IC, Painful bladder syndrome, PBS

Summary

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a condition that causes discomfort or pain in the bladder and a need to urinate frequently and urgently. It is far more common in women than in men. The symptoms vary from person to person. Some people may have pain without urgency or frequency. Others have urgency and frequency without pain. Women's symptoms often get worse during their periods. They may also have pain with sexual intercourse.

The cause of IC isn't known. There is no one test to tell if you have it. Doctors often run tests to rule out other possible causes of symptoms. There is no cure for IC, but treatments can help most people feel better. They include

  • Distending, or inflating, the bladder
  • Bathing the inside of the bladder with a drug solution
  • Oral medicines
  • Electrical nerve stimulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Bladder training
  • In rare cases, surgery

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Symptoms

  • (Interstitial Cystitis Association)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (UpToDate)

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Interstitial Cystitis Association)
  • (Interstitial Cystitis Association)
  • (Interstitial Cystitis Association)
  • (UpToDate)

Living With

  • (Interstitial Cystitis Association)
  • (Interstitial Cystitis Association)

Related Issues

  • (Interstitial Cystitis Association)
  • (Interstitial Cystitis Association)
  • (Interstitial Cystitis Association)

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in

Find an Expert

  • (Urology Care Foundation)
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (Interstitial Cystitis Association)

Men

  • (Interstitial Cystitis Association)

Women

  • (Interstitial Cystitis Association)

Patient Handouts