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Symptoms


The symptoms of IC/PBS are often misdiagnosed as a "common" bladder infection (cystitis) or a UTI. However IC/PBS has not been shown to be caused by a bacterial infection, and the mis-prescribed treatment of antibiotics is ineffective. The symptoms of IC/PBS may also initially be attributed to prostatitis and epididymitis (in men) and endometriosis and uterine fibroids (in women).

The most common symptom of IC/PBS is pain, which is found in 100% of patients, frequency (82% of patients) and nocturia (62%).

In general, symptoms are:

  • Pain that is worsened with bladder filling and/or improved with urination.
  • Pain that is worsened with a certain food or drink.
  • Urinary frequency (as often as every 10 minutes), urgency, and pressure in the bladder and/or pelvis.
  • Some patients report dysuria (burning sensation in the urethra when urinating).
  • Some patients report waking at night to urinate, hesitancy (needing to wait for the stream to begin), pain with sexual intercourse, and discomfort and difficulty driving, travelling or working.

During cystoscopy, 5 to 10% of patients are found to have Hunner's ulcers. Far more patients may experience a very mild form of IC/PBS, in which they have no visible wounds in their bladder, yet struggle with symptoms of pain, frequency and/or urgency. Still other patients may have discomfort only in their urethra, while others struggle with pain in the entire pelvis.


Other articles from the section: Interstitial cystitis

Treatment - medication

  As recently as a decade ago, treatments available were limited to the use of astringent instillations, such as chlorpactin (oxychlorosene) or silver nitrate, designed to kill "infection" and/or strip off the bladder lining. In 2005, our understanding of IC/PBS has improved dramatically and these therapies are now no longer done. Rather, IC/PBS therapy is typically multi-modal, including the use of a bladder coating, an antihistamine to help control mast cell activity and a low dose antidepressant to fight neurogenic ...

Section: Interstitial cystitis

Diagnosis

  Diagnosis has been greatly simplified in recent years with the development of two new methodologies. The Pelvic Pain Urgency/Frequency (PUF) Patient Survey, created by C. Lowell Parsons, is a short questionnaire that will help doctors identify if pelvic pain could be coming from the bladder. The KCl test, also known as the potassium ...

Section: Interstitial cystitis

Treatment - medication (bladder instillations)

  DMSO, a wood pulp extract, is the only approved bladder instillation for IC/PBS yet it is much less frequently used in urology clinics. Research studies presented at recent conferences of the American Urological Association by C. Subah Packer have demonstrated that the FDA approved dosage of a 50% solution of DMSO ...

Section: Interstitial cystitis

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