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What Leads To Interstitial Cystitis & Can It Be Cured?

Interstitial cystitis refers to a chronic type of bladder condition that leads to pain and/or discomfort in the pelvic or bladder region.(1)

Even though interstitial cystitis is not a type of infection, but it makes the feeling of a bladder infection. Women with this problem feel pain usually during urination and sexual activities.(2)

Until now, the problem of interstitial cystitis has affected about 4million to 12million people belonging to different regions of the United States.(3)

What Leads To Interstitial Cystitis?

Urologists do not exactly know the cause of interstitial cystitis. However, a few of the experts have said-

  • The problem in bladder tissues irritates the urinary bladder.
  • Inflammation forces your body to release certain chemicals to cause interstitial cystitis symptoms.
  • Harmful contents in the urine sometimes cause damage to the bladder.
  • Nerve problems cause pain felt in the urinary bladder even from things, which often do not hurt.
  • The immune system of individual attacks his/her urinary bladder.

Inflammation in the bladder followed by interstitial cystitis also takes place because of any other health condition.(4)

You may experience interstitial cystitis symptoms because of the following risk factors-

  • Women are at high risk to suffer from interstitial cystitis as compared to men.
  • Individuals with red hair and fair skin remain at high risk to develop the problem of interstitial cystitis.
  • Many women and men develop interstitial cystitis and undergo a diagnose of it during 30years of age.
  • People with fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome may suffer from interstitial cystitis.(5)

Can Interstitial Cystitis Be Cured?

No, interstitial cystitis or painful bladder system does not cure completely. However, doctors recommend certain treatment procedures to relieve your underlying symptoms. Common treatment methods include-

Changes In Diet: If you are an IC or BPS patient, you have to avoid certain food items or beverages, which can make your symptoms worse or cause flare-ups. Especially, you should reduce or avoid all types of acidic food items from your diet. Moreover, you have to take certain antacid with your regular meals to reduce the entry of acidic content in your urine. Besides, you have to avoid caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners, and tomatoes from your diet.

Reduce Your Stress: Stress may trigger IC symptoms and/or flare-ups in interstitial cystitis patients. You should learn certain stress reduction techniques and give time to relax for living with PBS easily.

Exercise And Physical Activities: Exercise and physical activities help you to relieve the symptoms of interstitial cystitis. For this, you should give time for biking or cycling, walking, and gently stretching yourself.

Physical Therapy: Pelvic muscles are responsible to hold the urinary bladder incorrect place to control the urination. When you exercise such muscles, you may reduce your interstitial cystitis symptoms.

Bladder Retraining: Bladder retraining is recommendable for interstitial cystitis patients, who feel urine urgency. The treatment aims to overcome the habit of using the bathroom frequently, as it helps you holding urine for a long time. To use this technique, doctors recommend you maintain a diary of your urination frequency. You should use the diary for increasing the length of the period between your bathroom visits.

Medications: Doctors recommend for muscle relaxants, antidepressants, and tricyclic antidepressants to reduce pain, inflammation, and frequent urination problems in interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome patients.

Bladder Instillations: In this treatment, doctors fill your bladder with certain liquid medicines by using a small tube or a small catheter.

Bladder Stretching i.e. Hydrodistension: Bladder stretching procedure involves filling of the urinary bladder with sterile water to distend it and increase the urine amount to hold by the bladder. Urologists perform this procedure in an operating room and by applying anesthesia.(6)


Based on the mentioned points, there are many causes and risk factors related to interstitial cystitis problems. The treatment only helps in managing the underlying IC symptoms but cannot cure it completely.


Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 13, 2020

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