Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a long-term condition where the bladder wall can become irritated and inflamed.
Women with IC typically complain of pain or pressure in the pelvic area, pain during or after sex, and frequent, sometimes painful, urination. Some or all of these symptoms may come and go at different times. In addition, women with IC are typically diagnosed with two or more urinary tract infections a year.
Men with IC typically feel the urge to urinate frequently, have pain that is decreased by urinating, and often wake up in the middle of the night to urinate. These symptoms may come and go, and can occur all at once or each at different times.
To diagnose IC, your doctor may perform:
- Potassium chloride sensitivity test – potassium chloride is put into your bladder to see if symptoms of IC occur.
- Cystoscopy – a tiny scope inserted in the bladder that looks for abnormalities and pinpoints bleeding or ulcers. Your doctor may use liquid or gas during the exam to stretch the bladder and test its capacity.
- Biopsy of bladder – wall a tissue sample is examined under a microscope to rule out bladder cancer and check for microscopic changes suggestive of IC.