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
Are there any special concerns about interstitial cystitis?
There is no evidence that PBS/IC increases the risk of bladder cancer; however, the long-term effects of PBS/IC have not been well-studied and require further observation and research.
Researchers have little information about the relationship between pregnancy and PBS/IC but believe that PBS/IC does not affect fertility or the health of the fetus. Some women have a remission from PBS/IC during pregnancy while others have more pain and pressure during the third trimester, possibly due to the weight of the fetus on the bladder.
Coping with PBS/IC
The emotional support of family, friends, and other individuals with PBS/IC is very important in helping patients cope with PBS/IC. Studies have found that patients with PBS/IC who are educated about PBS/IC and become involved in their own care do better than patients who do not. Support groups for people with interstitial cystitis also have been beneficial for many.
What is the prognosis (outcome) of interstitial cystitis?
PBS/IC is a chronic condition that is characterized by periods of relapse and remission. Doctors do not fully understand why the symptoms worsen at particular times or disappear and then reappear months or years later. Symptoms may be mild or severe and may vary in intensity even in the same individual over time. There is no cure for PBS/IC, and treatments are directed at reducing the severity of symptoms.
There has been no treatment that has been shown to be effective in slowing the progression of the disease or in preventing recurrences.
- PBS/IC is an inflammatory disease of the bladder that can cause ulceration and bleeding of the bladder's lining and can lead to scarring and stiffening of the bladder.
- The symptoms of PBS/IC are pelvic pain as well as urinary frequency and urgency.
- PBS/IC has a variable clinical course, meaning that symptoms can appear and disappear over time. Moreover, the intensity of symptoms varies among individuals and even within the same individual over time.
- The cause of PBS/IC is unknown, but abnormalities in the leakiness or structure of the lining of the bladder are believed to play a role in the development of PBS/IC.
- The diagnosis of PBS/IC is based on the symptoms, an abnormal potassium sensitivity test (PST), and elimination of other conditions that may be responsible for the symptoms.
- Treatment for PBS/IC most commonly utilizes heparinoid drugs to help restore integrity of the bladder lining along with other oral medications. Bladder distension and intravesical drug therapy are other treatments that may provide relief in PBS/IC.
Additional sources of information about PBS/IC:
Interstitial Cystitis Association of America
110 North Washington Street, Suite 340
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: 1-800-HELP-ICA (435-7422) or 301-610-5300
2025 M Street NW., Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036
European Society for the Study of Interstitial Cystitis
Abrams, P., L. Cardozo, M. Fall, et al. "The standardisation of terminology of lower urinary tract function: report from the Standardisation Sub-committee of the International Continence Society." Neurourol Urodyn 21 (2002): 167.
NIH Publication No. 05-3220 June 2005
van de Merwe, J.P., J. Nordling, P. Bouchelouche, et al. "Diagnostic criteria, classification, and nomenclature for painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis: an ESSIC proposal." Eur Urol 53 (2008): 60.
Last Editorial Review: 11/30/2009
Viewers share their comments
Find out what women really need.