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
- Definition and Facts of Interstitial Cystitis (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in Spanish
- Interstitial Cystitis (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Interstitial Cystitis (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Interstitial Cystitis (Painful Bladder Syndrome) (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in Spanish
- Eating, Diet, and Nutrition for Interstitial Cystitis (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in Spanish
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Identification of Immune-Related Genes and Small-Molecule Drugs in Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain...
- Article: Sensory Receptor, Inflammatory, and Apoptotic Protein Expression in the Bladder Urothelium...
- Article: Evaluation of pain and quality of life after hyaluronic acid instillation...
- Interstitial Cystitis -- see more articles