Meet Dr. Donnica Video Introduction TV Appearances

Diseases & Conditions Today on DrDonnica.com Clinical Trials Decisionnaires FAQs Top Tips Fast Facts Debunking Myths News Alerts Celebrity Speak Out Guest Experts Women's Health Champions Books Women's Health Resources

Mission Privacy Policy Sponsors Press Room What's New? Contact Us

This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.


Hope Award

Send to a Friend

Interstitial Cystitis

Based on information from the Interstitial Cystitis Association.

  • Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder wall that frequently goes undiagnosed.
  • The cause of IC is unknown.
  • No treatment is uniformly effective for patients with IC.
  • Although many treatments options are available, only one treatment (Elmiron) is specifically FDA-approved to treat the symptoms of IC.
  • The majority of patients who are properly diagnosed and treated obtain relief.
  • Symptoms of IC:  bladder pain, urinary urgency, day and night frequency (up to 60 times per day), suprapubic (lower abdominal) or perineal (area between scrotum and anus in men, or vagina and anus in women) pain and pressure. Sexual intercourse can be painful.
  • More than 700,000 Americans have IC.
  • Average age of onset is 40.
  • Twenty-five percent of patients with IC are under the age of 30.
  • Ninety percent of IC patients are women, however preliminary studies of men with nonbacterial prostatitis indicate that they may actually have IC as well.
Diagnosis of IC
  • IC is frequently misdiagnosed as an acute urinary tract infection (cystitis), a disorder that can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
  • A cystoscopy with hydrodistention under general anesthesia is required to make a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis. The bladder is distended to check for the pinpoint hemorrhages on the bladder wall that are the hallmark of IC.
  • To make a diagnosis of IC, a number of other diseases must be ruled out, such as bladder infection, bladder cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, neurological disorders, kidney disease, and vaginal infections.

Treatment of IC:

Treatments that can help relieve symptoms of IC include:

  • Diet modification -- Keep diet low in acidic foods, and avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, carbonated colas) and alcohol.
  • Prelief®, a dietary supplement, can help to reduce the symptoms of IC by reducing the acids in foods and beverages.
  • Stress reduction techniques, such as biofeedback and pelvic floor relaxation exercises
  • Bladder retraining, once pain is under control
  • Bladder hydrodistention
  • Elmiron® (pentosan polysulfate sodium) - oral medication specifically for IC
  • Other oral medications such as tricyclic antidepressants, antispasmodics, anti-inflammatories and antihistamines
  • Opioid analgesics - for severe IC pain
  • DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) - medication instilled into the bladder
  • Electrical nerve stimulation --
    TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
  • Surgery is a last resort

Created: 7/30/2002  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

All the content contained herein is copyrighted pursuant to federal law. Duplication or use without
the express written permission of DrDonnica.com subjects the violator to both civil & criminal penalties.
Copyright © 2006 DrDonnica.com. All rights reserved.

Home | Today on DrDonnica.com | Meet Dr. Donnica | TV Appearances | Clinical Trials
Diseases & Conditions | Decisionnaires | Celebrity Speak Out | Guest Experts | Women's Health Champions
FAQs | Women’s Health Resources | Archive | Books & Tapes | Site Certification | Advanced Search
Mission | What’s New? | Press Room | Privacy Policy | Sponsors | Partners | Contact Us