Interstitial Cystitis - Symptoms and Signs

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What were the symptoms and signs of your interstitial cystitis?

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What are interstitial cystitis symptoms and signs?

The symptoms of PBS/IC vary greatly from one person to another but have some similarities to those of a urinary tract infection. They include

  • decreased bladder capacity;
  • an urgent need to urinate frequently day and night (urinating frequently is referred to as urinary frequency; having a strong urge to urinate is referred to as urinary urgency);
  • feelings of pressure, pain, and tenderness around the bladder, pelvis, and perineum (the area between the anus and vagina or anus and scrotum) which may increase as the bladder fills and decrease as it empties;
  • painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia);
  • discomfort or pain in the penis and scrotum.

Most people suffering from PBS/IC have both urinary frequency/urgency and pelvic pain, although these symptoms may also occur singly or in any combination. In most women, symptoms usually worsen around the time of their periods. As with many other illnesses, stress also may intensify the symptoms, but it does not cause them. The symptoms usually have a slow onset, and urinary frequency is the most common early symptom. As PBS/IC progresses over a few years, cycles of pain (flares) and remissions occur. Pain may be mild or so severe as to be debilitating. Symptoms can vary from day to day.

Return to Interstitial Cystitis (IC)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Blessd4lif, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 23

I had recently had abdominal surgery and came home with a catheter in. After the catheter had been removed, I started passing blood. I went to the doctor and had lab tests done and all were normal. The bleeding stopped but I started having to go to the bathroom more and more often. One night it was every 6 minutes. Anyway, interstitial cystitis (IC) was a new diagnosis at the time. I went to the urologist and he told me that I had IC after he'd looked at my bladder.

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Comment from: 4usully, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

Before my diagnosis of interstitial cystitis (IC), I had suffered with intermittent and sometimes unbearable pressure in my bladder. I thought it was due to the fact that I was diagnosed with a large fibroid in my uterus. Well, soon thereafter, I started experiencing pain, and urgency. Sometimes, I even had stabbing pains in my urethra. I was told by a urologist that it was most likely IC, and that I needed to have a cystoscopy and hydrodistention performed. I have found that certain foods make the pain worse, so I avoid them. I am just living with it the best I can; along with fibromyalgia, and chronic pain disorder.

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