Interstitial Cystitis - Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of IC/PBS are often misdiagnosed as a "common" bladder infection (cystitis) or a UTI. However, IC/PBS has not been shown to be caused by a bacterial infection and antibiotics are an ineffective treatment. The symptoms of IC/PBS may also initially be attributed to prostatitis and epididymitis (in men) and endometriosis and uterine fibroids (in women).

The most common symptoms of IC/PBS are pain, frequency, painful sexual intercourse, and nocturia.

In general, symptoms are:

  • Painful urination
    • Pain that is worsened with bladder filling and/or improved with urination.
    • Pain that is worsened with a certain food or drink.
    • Some patients report dysuria (burning sensation in the urethra when urinating).
  • Urinary frequency (as often as every 10 minutes), urgency, and pressure in the bladder and/or pelvis.
  • Some patients report nocturia (waking at night to urinate), urinary hesitancy (needing to wait for the stream to begin, often caused by pelvic floor dysfunction and tension), pain with sexual intercourse, and discomfort and difficulty driving, travelling or working.

During cystoscopy, 5-10% of patients are found to have Hunner's ulcers. Patients may have discomfort only in their urethra, while others struggle with pain in the entire pelvis. Interstitial cystitis patients often exhibit their symptoms in one of two patterns: significant suprapubic pain with little frequency or a lesser amount of suprapubic pain but with increased urinary frequency.

Read more about this topic:  Interstitial Cystitis

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