Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

Interstitial Cystitis (IC)

Interstitial Cystitis (IC), also known as painful bladder syndrome, is another type of pelvic condition that affects approximately eight million young and middle-aged women in the U.S. Interstitial cystitis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder lining that causes pain and pressure in the pelvic area around the bladder.

Women with IC often feel the need to urinate frequently in addition to experiencing painful urination even though bladder infection is not 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.

What is often most frustrating about this condition is that no exact cause has been pinpointed; however, IC patients may also have other health conditions such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and pelvic floor dysfunction, among other conditions.

female doctor talking to patient

Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis

While symptoms of IC may vary for each individual, you may experience some or all of the following:

  • Pain in the bladder and in pelvic region surrounding the bladder (pain may range from mild to severe)
  • Urgent and frequent need to urinate, even if the bladder is not full
  • Pain that worsens during menstruation
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Diagnosing IC

There is currently no one diagnostic test that is specific for IC. You should see one of our providers in the Women’s Institute for Pelvic Health to understand the best treatments available for your specific condition.

Your provider will perform a comprehensive physical exam and may order additional testing including:

  • Urine analysis and urine culture
  • Biopsy: during the bladder biopsy, your doctor will take a small bladder tissue sample for examination
  • Cystoscopy With Bladder Distention: your doctor uses a small instrument called a cystoscope to view the inside of your bladder; your doctor may also fill the bladder with a liquid or gas to distend it, which provides a clearer view of the bladder walls