Diagnosing Interstitial Cystitis
Diagnosing interstitial cystitis often involves ruling out other treatable urinary bladder conditions first. While there is no definitive test to diagnose this condition, the doctor can perform tests to help rule out other conditions. A cystoscopy done under anesthesia is the most important test when diagnosing interstitial cystitis. In men, doctors often rule out a prostate infection before considering interstitial cystitis.
In order to diagnose interstitial cystitis, the doctor will likely ask a number of questions and perform a physical exam, looking for signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis. He or she may also recommend certain tests or procedures.
An interstitial cystitis diagnosis is made based on:
- The presence of urinary urgency, urinary frequency, or bladder/pelvic pain
- Bladder wall inflammation, including pinpoint bleeding or ulcers, found by cystoscopy
- The absence of other diseases that could cause the symptoms.
Because interstitial cystitis symptoms are similar to those of other urinary bladder conditions, and because there is no definitive test to diagnose interstitial cystitis, doctors must rule out other treatable conditions before considering an interstitial cystitis diagnosis.
Other conditions that share similar symptoms include:
- Urinary tract infection (also known as bladder infection, or UTI)
- Vaginal infections
- Bladder cancer
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Kidney stones.
In men, common diseases include chronic prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome.