Interstitial Cystitis

What is interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis (also known as painful bladder syndrome) is a chronic condition that can occur in men or women that includes symptoms of increased urinary urgency/frequency associated with urinary pain. It can be brought on or worsened by stress or certain foods or drinks. The diagnosis is made by taking the patient’s history and ruling out all other reasons for the symptoms. Often a cystoscopy is recommended and can help with the diagnosis. Painful bladder syndrome affects women more than men, and although there is no cure, certain therapies and medications can provide relief.

What are the causes?

The exact cause is unknown, but interstitial cystitis can often result from multiple factors. A leak in the epithelium (the protective lining of the bladder) can allow toxic substances in the urine to irritate the wall of the bladder. Allergies, infections, hereditary factors and autoimmune reactions can all contribute to this condition. The possible risk factors include gender (again, women are more likely to suffer from this syndrome), your age (30 years old and up), having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia or another chronic pain disorder and having fair skin and red hair.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms will vary from person to person and can range in severity over time. Those with interstitial cystitis may experience:

  • Chronic pelvic pain–for men, pain between the vagina and the anus and for women, pain between the scrotum and anus
  • An urgent, persistent need to urinate
  • Frequent urination, typically in small amounts (up to 60 times in a 24-hour period)
  • Discomfort or pain when the bladder is full, and relief when it empties
  • Painful intercourse

Treatments in Torrance, California

Treatments are varied and can include diet restrictions, behavioral modification, pelvic floor physical therapy, medications, or minor procedures. To get professional medical help from a licensed urologist, schedule your appointment with Dr. Shelby Morrisroe today. To get started, give us a call at our office in the South Bay or schedule your appointment online.


*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.

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