Bladder pain can occur for various reasons, most commonly bladder or urinary tract infections. But what happens when the bladder pain is chronic and doesn’t go away? This might signify a rare but specific condition known as interstitial cystitis (IC). It’s sometimes known as painful bladder syndrome or bladder pain syndrome (BPS). You may have some questions about this condition, so here are some answers to common interstitial cystitis FAQs.
Answers to Common Questions (FAQs) About Interstitial Cystitis
Interstitial cystitis was once considered a rare bladder condition. Now, with more than 200,000 diagnosed cases per year, it’s rather common. Let’s learn about the symptoms of interstitial cystitis, treatment options, and more.
What Is Interstitial Cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis is a painful bladder condition. Originally, the condition was considered to be potentially caused by an infection in the lining of the bladder. Now we know that IC is not actually a bladder infection, although it shares some similar symptoms.
IC involves inflammation and irritation in the bladder, but at this time, there is no known direct cause.
Some refer to interstitial cystitis as Bladder Pain Syndrome (BPS). Interstitial cystitis can occur in men and children, but it’s far more prevalent in women. Interstitial cystitis was once considered a rare bladder condition. Now, with more than 200,000 diagnosed cases per year, it’s rather common.
IC affects anywhere from 4 million to 12 million Americans, and many of those people aren’t even aware that they have it.
What Are the Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis symptoms can mimic other bladder conditions, such as urinary tract infections, bladder infections, and even chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
However, there are a few tell-tale symptoms of IC.
How is Interstitial Cystitis Diagnosed?
It can be difficult to diagnose since people can experience an array of symptoms that can be confused with other medical problems. People with IC also tend to have other health problems like pelvic floor dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and chronic headaches.
What are Treatment Options for IC?
Interstitial cystitis may be easy for some people to manage, while for others, the pain can be severe enough to be debilitating. Simple day-to-day tasks like driving and sitting can become painful, and intimacy may feel nearly impossible.
Interstitial cystitis can be treated in a variety of ways. Your doctor may prescribe medication, bladder distention therapy, or nerve stimulation. Some people with interstitial cystitis use intermittent catheters to drain urine and avoid irritating the bladder.
How Do I Raise Awareness for Interstitial Cystitis?
There are several things you can do during September for Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Month. You could make a Facebook status or write a tweet about IC, wear a ribbon or pin, or even contact your senator or representative to ask them to support funding for interstitial cystitis and other urological problems. Regardless of what you do, make sure that you’re doing your part to raise awareness and help others with IC.
More Help for Interstitial Cystitis
If you need intermittent catheters due to living with bladder pain syndrome, 180 Medical is here for you. Contact us today.