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Interstitial Cystitis - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Written by
Dr. Lochana
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vaibhav

Published on Aug 12, 2020   -  4 min read


Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition affecting the bladder. Read this article to know more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Interstitial Cystitis -  Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What Is Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis is also known as painful bladder syndrome. It is a tricky condition and difficult to diagnose. Treatments can make life and health better, but the complete cure is questionable. If you have urinary pain lasting for more than nine months, and if it is not caused by other conditions like kidney stones and other infections, you might have interstitial cystitis. The age of the patient should be more than 18 years to confirm the condition. Also, if the symptoms have not subsided after the administration of multiple antibiotics and anti-inflammatory treatments, then the doctor would choose to diagnose the condition as interstitial cystitis.

The disease can affect social life, sleeping patterns, and even the ability to work. Interstitial cystitis is associated with pain and urine urgency. Since it affects the bladder region, there are chances of your sexual life getting affected. So, it can disrupt your personal relationships too. Interstitial cystitis commonly affects women. People first start having minor problems. The risk of getting interstitial cystitis goes up as you get older.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms might vary from person to person. They can change every day or every week and are never periodic. They might even subside without any treatment.

The common symptoms are:

The bladder pain that people feel with interstitial cystitis can range from dull to piercing pain. The urine might have a foul smell, or it can feel like burning. A small range of people with the condition might get an ulcer in their bladder.

What Are the Risk Factors?

What Are the Causes?

The exact cause of interstitial cystitis is not known correctly. It is usually multifactorial. It may also be due to autoimmune reaction, genetics, infection, or allergic response.

How Is It Diagnosed?

There is no specific test for interstitial cystitis. The following tests can help rule out other conditions:

What Is the Treatment?

A particular treatment does not work for all people. Treatment must be chosen differently for each patient, depending on the symptoms. Patients usually try different treatments until proper relief occurs. Most treatments are aimed at controlling the symptom. Interstitial cystitis treatment is done in five distinct phases with constant monitoring of your pain and to check the quality of life. It is essential to talk to your healthcare provider about how your treatments are working so that together you can find the best treatment option for yourself.

The following are the different phases of treatment:

The interstitial cystitis symptoms can come back even if the disease has been in remission for an extended period of time. The exact cause of recurrence is not known. Also, there is no known method to prevent recurrences. Patients can try to avoid the symptoms by:

The specific foods or activities that affect interstitial cystitis are different for various patients, and so each person has to discuss their individual plan with the doctors.

Differential Diagnosis:

  1. Urinary tract infection.

  2. Sexually transmitted diseases.

  3. Kidney stones.

  4. Tumors in the bladder.

When Do You Need to See a Doctor?

If you are experiencing chronic bladder pain, urinary urgency, or increased urine frequency, seek help from a doctor online. You can share your reports through our online platform and get instant help. Video calling facilities are also available.


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Last reviewed at:
12 Aug 2020  -  4 min read




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