Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a condition that results in recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and the surrounding pelvic region. The symptoms vary from case to case and even in the same individual.
People may experience mild discomfort, pressure, tenderness, or intense pain in the bladder and pelvic area. Symptoms may include:
- An urgent need to urinate
- A frequent need to urinate
- A combination of these symptoms.
Pain may change in intensity as the bladder fills with urine or as it empties. Women’s symptoms often get worse during menstruation. They may sometimes experience pain during vaginal intercourse.
Scientists have not yet found a cure for IC/PBS, nor can they predict who will respond best to which treatment. Because the causes of IC/PBS are unknown, current treatments are aimed at relieving symptoms. Many people are helped for variable periods by one or a combination of treatments. As researchers learn more about IC/PBS, the list of potential treatments will change, so patients should discuss their options with a doctor.
When medication and other treatments do not relieve symptoms, hysterectomy is often recommended to provide a more effective, definitive and long-term solution for excessive menstrual bleeding. If you are considering or your doctor has recommended a hysterectomy, you are not alone - one in three women in the U.S. will have a hysterectomy before turning 60.