About IC

IC is recurring pelvic pain, pressure, or discomfort in the bladder and pelvic region, often associated with urinary frequency (needing to go often) and urgency (feeling a strong need to go).
IC can affect anyone. More than 4 million people in the US have IC:

  • Women: 3 to 8 million
  • Men: 1 to 4 million
  • Children: prevalence data are not known
interstitial cystitis bladder, IC bladder

IC Bladder

Patients with interstitial cystitis experience “an unpleasant sensation (pain, pressure, discomfort) perceived to be related to the urinary bladder” that lasts longer than six weeks in the absence of infection or other identifiable causes. The symptoms can vary greatly between individuals and even for the same person throughout the month, including urinary frequency, urgency, nocturia, pressure and/or pelvic pain. People with severe cases of IC/BPS may urinate as many as 60 times a day.

Physicians may refer to IC with a variety of names, including: bladder pain syndrome (Europe), hypersensitive bladder syndrome (Japan), urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome (research studies) or chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS). In the United States, it is commonly referred to as IC/BPS.

Pain levels can range from mild tenderness to intense, agonizing pain. Pain typically worsens as the bladder fills with urine and is then relieved after urination. Pain may also radiate to the lower back, upper legs, vulva and penis. Women’s symptoms may fluctuate with their menstrual cycle, often flaring during ovulation and/or just before their periods. Men and women may experience discomfort during or after sexual relations.

When an IC bladder is closely examined during a hydrodistention with cystoscopy, physicians often find small, bleeding wounds, also known as petechial hemorrhages or glomerulations. About five to ten percent of patients may have larger, more painful wounds known as Hunner’s Ulcers. Some patients with mild IC may have bladders that appear normal during a cystoscopy.

Read more facts here


6 thoughts on “About IC

  1. Here is my problem. . . although I have IC symptoms: bladder pain and urethra pain, my pain is always with me (although I take neurontin and pyridium to calm it down) and it is more of a burning sensation. My bladder feels better when full, but is aggravated when I expel the urine. I never have vacation from my symptoms. I can hold quite a bit of urine for log periods of time; I am not running to the bathroom ever 30 minutes- thank the Lord because I have to work full time to pay bills. But I am miserable and I hate my IC too. I am on so many suppliments.

    Have you heard of Ruth Kriz? She is an IC specialist in Virginia who studied under Dr. Fugazzatto, who is no longer with us. He found that most all his IC patients had one of three positive gram bacterium that could only be grown in a broth culture– no one does broth cultures anymore. However, United Lab does. I am planning on getting this test done in August as I have a phone appointment with Ruth.

    Also, do you know about the Antiproliferative factor (APF), a peptide found in the urine of IC patients. I am going to do some research to see how I can get this tested. I was prematurely diagnosed with IC 2 years ago. After 3-5 catheters, I decided the pain after the catheter was not worth it. They gave me the rescue solution afterward–yet right! What did it rescue? Nothing. I was in so much pain afterward, each time I received a catheter, that I REFUSE anymore. Unfortunately, the urologist I see only know how to do one thing–use catheters. So, most of them don’t know how to help me if I don’t allow them to do a catheter.

    Sorry, for the rambling, but I have found your blog very interesting. I appreciate that fact that you are being proactive in search for a cure. So many just accept it; I refuse to accept this for the rest of my life. I have to find a cure. I will be keeping up with you and the stem cell procedure. Funny, someone mentioned stem cell to me the other day. There is a doctor in the area that used stem cell replacement to help cure diseases. I live in Dallas, Tx.

  2. I have tried to contact my PT to get his name. She hasn’t called me back. If I get it, I will let you know.

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