What is Interstitial Cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic inflammatory bladder condition that can cause constant or occasional discomfort, with symptoms running the gamut from mild to severe. Although it can feel like a bacterial infection, no infectious organism is found in people with IC, and treatment with antibiotics is ineffective. Symptoms may include frequent urination, urinary urgency (the sudden, compelling need to empty the bladder), and pain in the pelvic region. The discomfort can be felt as pressure or tenderness, mild irritation or intense pain. Many IC patients complain that their symptoms worsen with certain foods or drinks, or when they are under physical or mental stress. For women, the pain can intensify during the menstrual cycle. For both men and women, pain during or after sexual activity is common.