It’s September, which means it’s also IC Awareness Month. IC Awareness Month brings focus and attention to a painful bladder condition called Interstitial Cystitis (IC).
According to the Interstitial Cystitis Network, as many as one out of every 26 people in the USA right now may be living with symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis. But what is Interstitial Cystitis? And why is it important that we all do our part in raising awareness about this condition?
Learn More About IC Awareness Month and Interstitial Cystitis
As IC Awareness Month continues, let’s go over some of the most frequently asked questions about this unique bladder disorder.
What is Interstitial Cystitis and Its Symptoms?
Also known as Bladder Pain Syndrome (BPS) or painful bladder syndrome, interstitial cystitis (IC) is a condition that ranges from minor to severe pain and pressure around the pelvic area, more specifically the bladder.
Symptoms can include:
- Bladder pain or pain throughout the pelvis or genitals
- Difficulty urinating (urinary bladder retention)
- Difficulty fully emptying the bladder (incomplete bladder emptying)
- Urinary frequency or urgency
- Nocturia (nighttime urinary incontinence)
- Pain during physical intimacy
Who Gets Interstitial Cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis can happen to anyone. However, research shows it may be more prevalent in women. Many who are affected by the symptoms aren’t even aware that they have it. This is why it’s important to spread awareness so that those who are affected can seek treatment.
Is There a Cure for Interstitial Cystitis?
While no cure exists currently, a variety of treatments are available. These treatments may help make the symptoms of interstitial cystitis more manageable. This may include the use of prescription medications to manage inflammation and pain or even unique bladder treatments. Also, if you have difficulty urinating or fully emptying your bladder, your doctor may suggest a self-catheterization regimen.
If you need urinary catheters to manage your interstitial cystitis symptoms, 180 Medical is here for you. We’ve specialized in catheter supplies since the beginning, which means we truly know our products inside and out.
Contact 180 Medical to discuss your intermittent catheter options based on your doctor’s prescription.
What Can I Do To Raise Awareness About Interstitial Cystitis?
It’s easy to feel like you don’t have the power to raise much awareness.
However, if you use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram), you have a great tool in your hands to share information that can help raise awareness. Start by sharing a link to the IC Awareness Month official website at http://www.icawareness.org or sharing a link to this blog post from 180 Medical.
Also, you could hand out flyers or informative brochures about interstitial cystitis. Many sufferers of this painful bladder syndrome don’t always know they have it, especially if they are nervous about bringing it up to their doctor.
Additionally, talk to your local doctor’s office about putting up a poster or keeping brochures about IC Awareness Month and interstitial cystitis. This way, the staff and visitors to their facility can learn more about bladder pain syndrome or interstitial cystitis.
Lastly, consider wearing a turquoise IC Awareness Ribbon or displaying it as a car magnet. Find yours at the ICN shop.
Interstitial Cystitis Resources
Remember, if you are living with Interstitial Cystitis, you’re not alone. You can connect with others living with IC or find more resources for learning below.
- Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA) — Community dedicated to finding a cure and raising awareness. You can find support groups, online virtual education, tips and resources, advocacy options, and there’s an option to find a healthcare provider via their network.
- Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Month official website — Find out more ways to get involved with social media activism, see regular announcements and daily facts, and get access to videos and a media kit.
- IC (Interstitial Cystitis) Network Forums — Make friends and find support.
- IC (Interstitial Cystitis) Network — Access to resources and educational materials, read recent news and events, find a specialist in your area, and more.