Interstitial Cystitis

What is Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a painful bladder syndrome. It is a chronic disorder in which the patient will feel bladder pressure, bladder pain, and pelvic pain. Mostly, women are affected by it and it can have a long lasting impact on the quality of life. The exact cause of IC is still to be found, but it is highly probable that many factors contribute to the spread of this disease. For example, defect in the epithelium (protective lining of the bladder) is also seen in patients suffering from IC. The leak in the protective lining mix toxic substances with urine, which leads to irritation in the bladder wall. It is believed that autoimmune reactions, heredity, infection, and allergy contribute to IC, but it is still to be proved. Associated factors with high risk of IC include females, age of a person (30 years or older), and chronic pain disorder.


Some common symptoms that occur with IC are:

  • Ache in the pelvis, between the vagina and anus in women, and between scrotum and anus in men.
  • Urge for urination, which is persistent.
  • Frequent urination throughout the day, in small amounts.
  • Feeling relieved after urination and discomfort if the bladder is full.
  • Painful sexual intercourse.


Some of the probable causes of this disease include:

  • Allergy.
  • Spinal cord trauma.
  • Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.
  • Autoimmune disorders.
  • Overdistention or bladder trauma.
  • Genetics or heredity.


The main risk factors are: 

  • Diminished life quality.
  • Decreased sexual intimacy.
  • Emotional distress.


To prevent the occurrence of this disease, one should take care of the following things:

  • Drinking plenty of liquids.
  • Taking showers rather than bathing in the tub.
  • Emptying the bladder soon after intercourse.
  • Gently wash the area around the genitals.

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosis for IC depends on the family and medical history of the patient. A few more tests that are performed to confirm the disorder are:


How is it treated?

The treatment usually takes several weeks or months in providing proper relief. At Medanta, the various means of treatment include: 


  • Physical therapy

    Pelvic pain is associated with muscle tenderness, restrictive connective tissue, or muscle abnormalities, and can be relieved with physical therapy.


  • Oral medications

    Some signs and symptoms of IC can be aborted with oral medications too.


  • Bladder distention

    Stretching of the bladder with the help of water or gas is called bladder distention. After undergoing cystoscopy with bladder distention, a lot of patients have observed a temporary relief. If the response of the body is long lasting, the procedure can be repeated.


  • Surgery

    Removing the bladder completely does not relieve pain, and can also result in certain complications. Therefore, doctors do not prefer surgery as a treatment option. If other modes of treatment have failed, then surgery is opted. The surgical methods include fulguration resection and bladder augmentation.
    However, apart from these treatment methods, some therapies can be performed to prevent the situation on a whole.

When do I contact the doctor?

You should immediately consult a doctor, as you begin to experience symptoms like urge to urinate, discomfort in the bladder, and pain after intercourse. Your symptoms will be treated perfectly with the medical help of our expertise at Medanta.

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