Interstitial Cystitis: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Interstitial cystitis, sometimes referred to as painful bladder syndrome, is characterized by

Other signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis are

  • a decreased bladder capacity,
  • feelings of pressure and tenderness around the bladder, and
  • painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia).

Men may experience discomfort in the penis and scrotum. Signs and symptoms can vary among affected people and may vary in severity.

Causes of interstitial cystitis

The cause of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome is unknown. Changes or abnormalities in the leakiness or structure of the lining of the bladder are thought to be involved in its development.

Other interstitial cystitis symptoms and signs


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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.