Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a condition that causes discomfort or pain in the bladder and abdomen. It is far more common in women than in men. The symptoms vary from case to case. Some people have an urgent or frequent need to urinate. Women's symptoms often get worse during their periods. They may also have pain with sexual intercourse.
Many scientists believe IC is actually several diseases. Many use the term painful bladder syndrome (PBS) to describe urinary pain for which they cannot find a cause. There is no one test to tell if you have IC/PBS. Doctors often run tests to rule out other possible causes of symptoms. There is no cure for IC/PBS, but treatments can help most people feel better. They include distending, or inflating, the bladder; bathing the inside of the bladder with a medicine solution; oral medicines and in rare cases, surgery.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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|Date last updated: 16 September 2008
Topic last reviewed: 16 September 2008