Interstitial Cystitis Quiz

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Learn more about Interstitial cystitis

Content updated on Sep 20, 2022

What is interstitial cystitis?

Inflammation of the muscle layers of the bladder. The exact cause is unclear. As the condition can persist for a long time, coping strategies are important.

Symptoms of interstitial cystitis

  • Often have a sudden need to pass urine in the past one month

  • Frequent urination

  • Feeling there is still urine left in the bladder after urinating

  • Decreased urine volume with painful urination

  • Abdominal pain

  • Medication is not working

  • Bladder pain that is relieved by passing urine

  • Pain when passing urine

Questions your doctor may ask to check for interstitial cystitis

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose interstitial cystitis

  • Do you sometimes have a sudden, strong urge to rush to the the toilet and pass urine?

  • Have you been passing urine more often?

  • Do you have difficulty completely emptying your bladder?

  • Do you have painful urination and passing less urine?

  • Do you have abdominal pain (stomach ache)?

Treatment for interstitial cystitis

There are many treatment options available, hence discussion with a specialist is important. Simple measures like physical therapy and painkiller pills may help. Other options for treatment include procedures for electrical stimulation to improve blood flow to the bladder, or filling the bladder to stretch it out and relieve symptoms. In severe cases that do not respond the above, surgery can be considered.

View the symptoms of Interstitial cystitis


  • Marcu I, Campian EC, Tu FF. Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome. Semin Reprod Med. 2018 Mar;36(2):123-135. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1676089. Epub 2018 Dec 19. PMID: 30566978.

  • Akiyama Y, Luo Y, Hanno PM, Maeda D, Homma Y. Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome: The evolving landscape, animal models and future perspectives. Int J Urol. 2020 Jun;27(6):491-503. doi: 10.1111/iju.14229. Epub 2020 Apr 4. PMID: 32246572; PMCID: PMC7768977.

  • Akiyama Y, Hanno P. Phenotyping of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome. Int J Urol. 2019 Jun;26 Suppl 1:17-19. doi: 10.1111/iju.13969. PMID: 31144756.

  • Daniels AM, Schulte AR, Herndon CM. Interstitial Cystitis: An Update on the Disease Process and Treatment. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2018 Mar;32(1):49-58. doi: 10.1080/15360288.2018.1476433. Epub 2018 Sep 13. PMID: 30212267.

  • McLennan MT. Interstitial cystitis: epidemiology, pathophysiology, and clinical presentation. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2014 Sep;41(3):385-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ogc.2014.05.004. Epub 2014 Jul 9. PMID: 25155120.

Reviewed By:

Nao Saito

Nao Saito, MD (Urology)

From our team of 50+ doctors

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