Interstitial Cystitis (IC)

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a chronic and painful condition of the bladder. People with IC have a bladder wall that is tender and easily irritated, leading to uncomfortable symptoms. If you have this condition, you're not alone. Thousands of people (mostly women, but also some men) are affected by IC. Although IC currently has no cure, the symptoms can be managed to help you feel better and live more comfortably.

Symptoms of IC

IC symptoms are similar to those of a urinary tract infection. They include the following:

  • The frequent and urgent need to urinate
  • Pain or pressure in the bladder area,
    often relieved for a short time after urinating
  • Pain in the genitals or anus
  • Painful sexual intercourse

Symptoms may go away for a period of time (remission), but often come back again.

Possible Causes of IC

The cause of IC is still under debate, but possible causes include the following:

  • Damage to the protective bladder lining,
    allowing urine to irritate the bladder wall
  • Infection of the bladder
  • Allergic reaction in the bladder
  • Neurological (nerve) problems
  • Substances found in the urine that are irritating to the bladder

One thing is certain - IC is not "all in your head."

Dr. Mary Mahern, MD
Dr. Clark Brittain, DO

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