Interstitial Cystitis (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Overview of urinary function
- What is interstitial cystitis (IC)?
- What is the cause of interstitial cystitis?
- What are the signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis?
- How is interstitial cystitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment of interstitial cystitis?
- Are lifestyle modifications of value in managing interstitial cystitis?
- Are there any special concerns about interstitial cystitis?
- What is the prognosis (outcome) of interstitial cystitis?
- PBS/IC At A Glance
- Find a local Urologist in your town
What are the signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis?
The symptoms of PBS/IC vary greatly from one person to another but have some similarities to those of a urinary tract infection. They include
- decreased bladder capacity;
- an urgent need to urinate frequently day and night;
- feelings of pressure, pain, and tenderness around the bladder, pelvis, and perineum (the area between the anus and vagina or anus and scrotum) which may increase as the bladder fills and decrease as it empties;
- painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia);
- discomfort or pain in the penis and scrotum.
Most people suffering from PBS/IC have both urinary frequency/urgency and pelvic pain, although these symptoms may also occur singly or in any combination. In most women, symptoms usually worsen around the time of their periods. As with many other illnesses, stress also may intensify the symptoms, but it does not cause them. The symptoms usually have a slow onset, and urinary frequency is the most common early symptom. As PBS/IC progresses over a few years, cycles of pain (flares) and remissions occur. Pain may be mild or so severe as to be debilitating. Symptoms can vary from day to day.
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