What is Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a chronic inflammation of the bladder wall. ‘Common’ cystitis is a urinary tract infection caused by bacteria and is usually treated with antibiotics. Unlike common cystitis, it is believed that IC is not caused by bacteria, and does not respond to conventional antibiotic therapy. It is important to note, however, that IC is not a psychosomatic disorder, nor is it caused by stress.

What are the differences between IC and bacterial cystitis?

Interstitial Cystitis

  • Long term urinary frequency
  • Clear urine
  • No bacteria present
  • Temporary relief during voiding
  • Symptoms not relieved by antibiotics
  • Pain and discomfort with bladder filling
  • Symptoms continuous and permanent

Bacterial Cystitis
  • Frequency during attacks
  • Cloudy, smelly urine
  • Bacteria show in in urine test urine test
  • Burning pain during voiding
  • Symptoms relieved by antibiotics
  • Symptoms unrelated to bladder filling
  • Attacks tend to be short and last only a few days

Who is affected?

IC can affect males and females of any age or race, although it is most commonly found in women.

What causes IC?

No-one knows what causes IC, which is why money is needed to be spent on medical research. IC cannot be caught from another person.

If you suffer from IC the main symptoms are:

Frequency

Day and/or night frequency of urination (up to 60 times a day in severe cases). In early or very mild cases, frequency is sometimes the only symptom.

Urgency

The sensation of having to urinate immediately may also be accompanied by pain, pressure or spasms.

Pain

Can be in the abdominal, urethral or vaginal area. Pain is also frequently associated with sexual intercourse.

Information Courtesy of:
The Interstitial Cystitis Support Group

For Further information and help visit the website
www.interstitialcystitis.co.uk

Top