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Is Interstitial Cystitis A Serious Condition & Can It Be Reversed?

Interstitial cystitis involves a feeling of pressure and pain in the area of the urinary bladder. Combined with pain, a person experiences urinary tract symptoms, which last for about 6weeks without any specific cause or infection.(1)

If you experience urinary pain lasting for about 6weeks and does not cause due to kidney stones or any other infection/condition, you may suffer from interstitial cystitis.(2)

The interstitial cystitis problem is common, as the condition affects from 3million to 8million women belonging to different areas of the United States.(3)

Is Interstitial Cystitis A Serious Condition?

Interstitial cystitis is a type of chronic condition and it causes bladder pain, bladder pressure, and pelvic pain. The pain, in this case, ranges from the mild type of discomfort feelings to pain in its severe form. The condition belongs to the category of various diseases referred to as painful bladder syndrome.

The bladder is a hallow and a type of muscular organ responsible for storing urine. It expands to become full and later on, gives a signal to the brain to go to the near bathroom for urination. The communication and signaling take place from nerves belonging to the pelvic region. The entire procedure creates an urge to urinate for individuals.

However, when an individual suffers from interstitial cystitis, the signals mixed up usually and a person requires urinating often and with small urine volumes as compared to other people. The problem of interstitial cystitis affects a large number of women and creates a long-lasting impact on the life of a person.

Major complications of interstitial cystitis are:

  • Reduction In Bladder Capacity: IC causes stiffening of the urinary bladder wall to allow it to hold urine in lesser amounts.
  • Sexual Intimacy Issues: Frequent pain and urination causes strain in your relations and force you to suffer from sexual intimacy.
  • Low Quality Of Life: Pain and frequent urination will interfere with your work, social activities, and other daily activities in your life.
  • Emotional Troubles: The interrupted sleep and chronic pain related to interstitial cystitis cause emotional stress followed by depression.

Can Interstitial Cystitis Be Reversed?

The problem of interstitial cystitis is not reversible and it does not have any specific cure. However, doctors recommend certain treatment procedures with the main objective to reduce IC symptoms. Until now, no specific therapy has achieved success, so that you can try it first. Instead, individuals suffering from interstitial cystitis have to try multiple therapies before they identify the appropriate combination. Common treatment procedures include-

Modification In The Regular Diet: Alcohol, caffeinated beverages, citrus fruits, chocolates, and spicy foods are few of the items, which can aggravate the problem of interstitial cystitis. You have to identify whether your condition becomes worse because of either of the following food items and hence, should avoid them strictly.

Oral Medications: Elmiron i.e. Pentosan Polysulfate is the single medication approved specifically to treat the problem of interstitial cystitis. Approximately 30percent of people suffering from IC have few symptoms with the medication and have uncommon side effects.

Bladder Training: According to this therapy, doctors train patients suffering from interstitial cystitis to reduce their frequent urination. For this, patients have to follow a specific urination schedule. However, the training fails to reduce the underlying pain.

Bladder Distention: Doctors use sterile water for stretching the bladder. Many patients feel bad for a few weeks after the procedure. However, only 30percent to 50percent of them feel better. The effects of the procedure will last for only a period of 3months. Moreover, the procedure takes place under general anesthesia, because of which it has many risks.

Electrical Nerve Stimulation: Electrical nerve stimulation procedure takes place by using a transcutaneous type of electrical nerve stimulator unit. The device passes mild electrical pulses in the body by using wires placed beneath the navel, within the vagina or rectum, and on the area of the lower back.


Interstitial cystitis is a chronic and severe condition. Moreover, the disease is not reversible; instead, one can undergo different treatment procedures to manage their conditions.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 13, 2020

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