Millions suffer from IC in the U.S. today. Ninety percent of them are women.
IC—a neuro-inflammatory condition of the bladder wall— is also called trigonitis, urethral syndrome, chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), bladder pain syndrome (BPS) and painful bladder syndrome (PBS).
The average age of onset is 40, with a quarter of those diagnosed under the age of 30.
Symptoms of IC can range from mild to severa and differ from patient to patient. And might include:
- Increased urination – Daytime or nighttime urination occurring up to 30 times a day. In early or very mild cases, frequency may be the only symptom
- Pain in the lower abdominal, urethral or vaginal area. Pain may also be present during sexual intercourse
- Many times patients think they have a urinary tract infection or “cystitis.” Sometimes – early in the diagnosis phase – some doctors may also think this. However, when urine cultures are negative it’s clear that it is not an infection. There’s more going on.
Why is interstitial cystitis so challenging to diagnose?
The cause of IC is unknown, and there’s no test that can definitively diagnose IC beyond a doubt. It’s often diagnosed after ruling out other problems, which often takes five to seven years. IC can have a devastating impact on a woman’s life and finances.