Interstitial cystitis/ bladder pain syndrome

May 30, 2018 Source: Internal - Gleb Danylov

Interstitial cystitis or bladder pain syndrome is a chronic bladder issue that is associated with a feeling of pain and pressure in the bladder. Along with this pain, there can be difficulties in other areas of the urinary system which can last for more than 6 weeks. Symptoms can often be confused with a bladder infection, since it may often feel like one. Many doctors think that interstitial cystitis may be a combination of several diseases making it a tricky disease to diagnose and treat.


Often interstitial cystitis causes urgent, painful bathroom trips. Some people who have this disorder may have to go to the washroom 40 times a day. Symptoms of IC often include:

  • Bladder pressure and pain
  • For women
    • Pain in the vulva and vagina.
    • Pain during sex
  • For men
    • Pain in the scrotum and testicles.
    • Pain during orgasm

All patients that have bladder pain syndrome have an inflamed bladder, and many patients experience pain while peeing. If any of these symptoms persist for longer than 6 weeks, there is a possibility you have interstitial cystitis.


There is no definite cause that has been identified yet, but some of factors have been found to be in effect. For instance, there can be a problem with bladder tissue, making it sensitive to irritants found in the urine. Furthermore, inflammations in your body or immune system problems have been associated with this convoluted disease.


Diagnosis is difficult since there is no test for interstitial cystitis. Your doctor can however, perform cystoscopy procedure in which a small camera is run into the bladder to check for any underlying causes. There are also a series of urinalysis procedures that can be performed to determine if you have any conditions that can lead to the development of interstitial cystitis.


There are treatments that can help you with many of the symptoms, however currently there is no cure for bladder pain syndrome. About half the cases, have been found to resolve by themselves. Usually if you are noticing you are going to the washroom often, it will be beneficial to try to identify any triggers such as acidic fruits, alcohol or caffeinated drinks and smoking. If these are not enough to there is a next line of treatments that you can try. Physical therapy might be beneficial in relaxing your bladder and pelvic muscles. Furthermore, the doctor might prescribe amitriptyline which is used for controlling bladder spasms.