4 Signs of Interstitial Cystitis

Frequent urination is a common symptom for a range of conditions. However, when it appears, it’s often associated with a bladder infection, which is one of the most common conditions that affects the bladder for women.

Yet, infection isn’t normally present with interstitial cystitis (IC), a chronic bladder condition that causes pressure and pain for as many as two million Americans, with most of them being women. In severe cases, the need to urinate could hit more than 60 times a day.

While interstitial cystitis — which is also known as painful bladder syndrome (PBS) — can’t be cured, there are many treatment options. Finding the right solution can sometimes be a challenge, but the IC specialists at Southeast Urogyn are here to help. In this blog, they explain what IC is and what the treatment options are.

4 signs of interstitial cystitis

Though the combination and severity of symptoms can vary from person to person, the nature of the symptoms is relatively contained. These are four of the most common symptoms of IC, and those who suffer with IC often experience more than one of them.

1. Localized pain

The pain of interstitial cystitis is usually felt more in the perineum, which is the region between the vagina and anus. However, some people may experience pain anywhere in the pelvis, lower abdomen, or lower back, too. 

2. Chronic pain

Pain that lasts for 12 weeks or longer is called chronic pain. However, pain doesn’t need to continue nonstop for it to qualify as chronic. You may have episodes of pain that come and go but that persist for weeks or months. It’s still chronic pain, even if you feel fine between these episodes. Interstitial cystitis can produce both constant and intermittent pain.

3. Frequent urination

The urge to urinate can be persistent and frequent. Serious cases of IC can require up to 60 bathroom visits a day. The bladder usually isn’t full, no matter how strong the urge, and you may pass a very small amount.

4. Pain as bladder fills

Pain is often related to the urinary cycle. You might feel pain as your bladder starts to fill, and you’ll likely feel relief after you urinate, even if it's just a small amount.

In women, the urinary tract and genitalia are closely related due to their proximity. Hence, some women with IC find that having sexual intercourse also causes pain.

Treating interstitial cystitis

Depending on your case, your provider may recommend a number or treatment options, including the following:

Self-diagnosis of IC is difficult to do accurately, and it may take a few specialized tests to confirm it medically. If you suspect you have IC, or if you want treatment because you do have it, book an appointment over the phone with Southeast Urogyn today.

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