What Is Interstitial Cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that can cause discomfort or pain in the bladder and the surrounding pelvic region. Over 90 percent of patients with this condition are women.
People with interstitial cystitis have an inflamed or irritated bladder wall. This inflammation can lead to:
- Scarring and stiffening of the bladder
- Less bladder capacity
- Pinpoint bleeding in the bladder lining.
Most people who are affected by interstitial cystitis experience:
- Mild discomfort
- Pressure or intense pain the bladder and surrounding pelvic area
- An urgency to urinate
- Frequent urination
- Reduced bladder capacity.
The exact causes of the condition are unknown, but researchers believe it may be caused by:
- An autoimmune response
- Irritating substances in the urine
Although interstitial cystitis is incurable, treatments, including medication or bladder distention, can help relieve and control symptoms.
(Click Interstitial Cystitis for a more detailed explanation of what interstitial cystitis is, including other possible symptoms, suggestions for managing symptoms, and various ways of diagnosing it.)