Interstitial cystitis is a long-term irritation of the bladder. It can cause mild to severe pain that comes and goes. You also may feel a sudden urge to urinate or need to urinate often. Sometimes the walls of the bladder become scarred or get stiff.
What causes interstitial cystitis?
Doctors do not know what causes interstitial cystitis. But they do know that it is not caused by an infection. The problem is much more common in women than in men. Your doctor may do tests to make sure that you do not have an infection, kidney stones, or bladder cancer.
How is interstitial cystitis treated?
Because the cause of interstitial cystitis is not known, your doctor may try several treatments. It may take several weeks or months to find a treatment that works. If diet and lifestyle changes do not help, you may need medicine. Your doctor may also put liquid or medicine into your bladder for a short time to treat the pain.
When to call
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have symptoms of a urinary infection. For example:
- You have blood or pus in your urine.
- You have pain in your back just below your rib cage. This is called flank pain.
- You have a fever, chills, or body aches.
- It hurts to urinate.
- You have groin or belly pain.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- You do not get better as expected.