Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic pelvic pain condition that has its origin in the bladder. Two to seven percent or the population (primarily women) suffer from this potentially debilitating condition. Women with recurrent urinary tract infection symptoms and negative cultures, recurrent vaginal irritation symptoms without positive culture or significant discharge or irritation, and more classically, pain with bladder fullness should be evaluated for IC.
Traditionally, diagnosis and treatment of this condition has been very complicated. However, with greater understanding of the condition, it has become very treatable.
Diagnosis of IC involves a complete history and physical evaluation, eliminating other causes for the symptoms, along with more specific testing. Treatment is usually by a combination of diet modification and medication, as well as natural therapeutic agents and therapy.