Interstitial cystitis

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Interstitial cystitis or Bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (commonly abbreviated to "BPS/IC") is a urinary bladder disease of unknown cause characterised by pain associated with urination (dysuria), urinary frequency (as often as every 10 minutes), urgency, and pressure in the bladder and/or pelvis.[1] Pain that worsened with a certain food or drink and/or worsened with bladder filling and/or improved with urination was reported by 97% of patients.[2] Patients may also experience nocturia, pelvic floor dysfunction and tension (thus making it difficult to start their urine stream), pain with sexual intercourse, and discomfort and difficulty driving, traveling or working. Research has claimed that the quality of life of some IC patients is equivalent to those with end stage renal failure.[3]

It is not unusual for patients to have been misdiagnosed with a variety of other conditions, including: overactive bladder, urethritis, urethral syndrome, trigonitis, prostatitis and other generic terms used to describe frequency/urgency symptoms in the urinary tract.

BPS/IC affects men and women of all cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ages. Although the disease previously was believed to be a condition of menopausal women, growing numbers of men and women are being diagnosed in their twenties and younger. BPS/IC is not a rare condition, however BPS/IC is more common in females than in men.[1] Early research suggested that BPS/IC prevalence ranged from 1 in 100,000 to 5.1 in 1,000 of the general population. Up to 12% of women may have early symptoms of BPS/IC.[4]

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