Interstitial Cystitis – Adult Urologic Conditions and Treatments – Department of Urology – Rochester, NY – University of Rochester Medical Center

interstitial cystitis
interstitial cystitis ( IC ) is a chronic condition that causes recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and the surrounding pelvic region. It besides causes frequent, pressing and atrocious micturition .
When a patient has IC, the bladder wall becomes inflamed or irritate. This affects the sum of urine the bladder can hold and besides causes scar, stiffening and bleeding in the bladder .
IC should not be confused with coarse cystitis, a bacterial infection of the bladder that is the most coarse type of urinary tract contagion ( UTI ). Unlike park cystitis, interstitial cystitis is not caused by bacteria, nor does it respond to antibiotics.

Interstitial Cystitis Facts

Between 700,000 to one million Americans are estimated to have IC. 90 % of patients with IC are women, and the average age of attack is 40 .
interstitial cystitis is not contagious. It does not spread in the body and does not seem to worsen with clock time. It is not a cause of bladder cancer .
Though more research is needed, IC does not seem to affect birthrate or the health of a fetus. For some women, the symptoms of IC improve or disappear during pregnancy ; for other women, they get worse .
Read more information about interstitial cystitis .


The symptoms of interstitial cystitis ( IC ) vary from person to person. The same person may have different symptoms at different times. sometimes, symptoms go away by themselves, but they besides may return unexpectedly .
Symptoms frequently worsen during menstruation. Common symptom range from mild discomfort, atmospheric pressure and affection to intense pain in the bladder and the surrounding pelvic sphere .
other common symptoms include :

  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Frequent urination
  • Changes in pain intensity as the bladder fills or empties
  • Irritated, scarred or stiff bladder wall
  • Glomerulations (pinpoint bleeding caused by recurrent irritation) on the bladder wall
  • Ulcers on the bladder wall
  • Pain during sexual intercourse or other sexual activities

Rarer symptoms include the take after :

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Migraines
  • Allergic reactions
  • Gastrointestinal problems

IC may be associated with the following chronic diseases and pain syndromes :

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Vulvar vestibulitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome


Diagnosing interstitial cystitis can be unmanageable, as there are a diverseness of symptoms associated with this circumstance. many conditions and disorders must be ruled out before a diagnosis of IC can be considered, including the following :

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vaginal infections (in women)
  • Chronic bacterial and nonbacterial prostatitis (in men)
  • Bladder cancer
  • Bladder inflammation or infection
  • Radiation cystitis
  • Kidney stones
  • Endometriosis
  • Neurological disorders
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Low-count bacteria in the urine
  • Tuberculosis

Your doctor has a number of diagnostic tools to help rule out other conditions and identify interstitial cystitis .
Urinalysis. A urine sample is studied under a microscope to check for blood or bacteria in the urine which may indicate urinary nerve pathway infection, urinary nerve pathway stones or other problems.

Urine culture. A urine sample is studied to determine if there is any bacteria growing in it. The bacteria is then tested to determine which drugs will most effectively treat the bacteria .
Urine cytology. An examination of the cells from the bladder line that are in the urine. To check for prostatitis in men, prostate fluid can be examined for signs of infection .
Cystoscopy with hydrodistention. This is the chief diagnostic tool for interstitial cystitis. Since this procedure can be afflictive for person with interstitial cystitis, it is normally performed while the patient is under general anesthesia .

  • Cystoscopy is a procedure that allows the urologist to look directly into the bladder. A thin, flexible tube called a cystoscope is gently inserted into the bladder through the urethra. Your doctor can use the cytoscope to look for stones, ulcers and other disorders and also to perform a biopsy to check for bladder cancer and other diseases. Interstitial Cystitis is not normally associated with bladder cancer.
  • Hydrodistention is a procedure in which your doctor stretches or distends the bladder by filling it with water. Then, using the cystoscope, the doctor looks for tiny bleeding hemorrhages called glomerulations on the bladder wall. Glomerulations are a major symptom of IC in 95% of patients.

Causes and Prevention

The causes of interstitial cystitis are still unknown. Researchers are presently looking into many theories of what causes IC. The results of that inquiry could lead to potential treatments .
IC is not caused by stress, though stress reduction can be helpful and possibly reduce symptoms. IC is besides not a psychosomatic disorder. While harmful bacteria can cause common cystitis, neither bacteria nor viruses seem to cause IC .
Because the campaign of IC is distillery changeable, no definite preventive measures exist. We do know that smoking irritates the bladder and is the total one cause of bladder cancer, so quitting may be the best hindrance measurement you can take against IC .


interstitial cystitis is unmanageable to treat. There is not however a cure for IC, but there are a diverseness of treatments that relieve its symptoms. Treatments range from changes in diet, to medications, to surgery. surgery is only recommend after less encroaching approaches have failed .
Bladder instillation, or bladder wash, delivers medication to the bladder with a solution that is held in the bladder for a short-circuit period of time then drained with a catheter .
Medication are used to treat the diverse symptoms of IC .
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, provides mild electric pulses to the body which help to block trouble .
Bladder training can help the body to void at scheduled times while gradually lengthening the time that urine can be held .
Diet modification may help to alleviate symptoms in some patients through the elimination of particular foods.

Exercise can help to reduce symptoms of IC and can besides speed remittance .
Smoking cessation can help to reduce symptoms of IC. Giving up smoking besides reduces your hazard of bladder cancer .
Surgery, such as minimally encroaching techniques to remove ulcers from the bladder, is only used as a end fall back for the treatment of IC .

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