Is Interstitial Cystitis Transmitted?
Interstitial cystitis, a chronic condition that causes pain and discomfort in the bladder and surrounding pelvic regions, is often mistaken as an infectious disease. Despite common misunderstandings, interstitial cystitis is not transmitted.
The condition differs from other transmittable bacterial infections (such as a urinary tract infection) because no organisms are present in the urine of people with interstitial cystitis. Furthermore, people with the condition do not respond to antibiotic therapy.
The exact cause of interstitial cystitis is currently unknown, but research scientists believe that the bladder condition may be caused by:
- An autoimmune response
- Irritating substances in the urine
Some scientists also believe that interstitial cystitis may actually be several diseases instead of just one.
(Click Causes of Interstitial Cystitis for a more in-depth look at why interstitial cystitis cannot be transmitted and a discussion on the possible theories associated with its causes.)