Interstitial Cystitis (IC)

Interstitial Cystitis (IC)

What is Interstitial Cystitis (IC)?

Interstitial Cystitis (IC), also known as painful bladder syndrome, is another type of pelvic condition in which the bladder lining becomes severely inflamed and causes pain and pressure in the pelvic area around the bladder. IC affects approximately 8 million young and middle-aged women in the U.S. Seventy-five percent of women with IC say that sex makes their pain and need to urinate worse. Women with IC often feel the need to urinate frequently (up to 60 times a day) and a bladder infection is not often the cause. For many women, IC interrupts their normal daily activities because of the need to stay close to a bathroom and a constant feeling of discomfort and it definitely wreaks havoc on quality of life. The cause of IC is mostly unknown but it is most commonly reported to start after severe urinary tract infection. Hormonal, neurologic, immunologic, genetic, infectious, and environmental factors all play a role in the initiation of IC patients may also have other health conditions such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and pelvic floor dysfunction, among other conditions.


Symptoms of IC include:
  • Urinary frequency
  • Pain and burning with urination
  • Bladder pain
  • Dyspareunia (sexual pain)
  • Pain that worsens during menstruation

There is currently no diagnostic test that is specific for IC. You should see The SHOW Center provider who will perform a comprehensive physical exam and may order additional testing to understand the best treatments available for your specific condition and a team-centric approach will be created to meet your individualized needs.

*This information does not replace a provider consultation. You should schedule an appointment with your provider if you experience any of these symptoms.