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Who Is At Risk For Interstitial Cystitis & Is There A Blood Test For It?

Interstitial cystitis i.e. bladder pain syndrome is a type of chronic and long-lasting disease and it causes painful urinary and bladder symptoms. Some people have pressure, mild discomfort, and tenderness in their pelvic region. Others have intense bladder pain and deal with urinary frequency or urgency.(1)

The interstitial cystitis problem makes the bladder walls irritated and inflamed. This also increases the sensitivity of the urinary bladder. Depending on the severity of your problem, doctors may recommend different types of diagnostic procedures and treatment options, like diet, stress management, and so on.(2)

Until now, IC i.e. the chronic bladder condition has affected approximately 4 millions to 12 millions of people belonging to different areas of the United States. Even though people do not know the underlying cause of interstitial cystitis, doctors and other researchers have found multiple factors contributing to the development of the underlying condition.(3)

Who Is At Risk For Interstitial Cystitis?

Who Is At Risk For Interstitial Cystitis?

Your risk related to suffering from interstitial cystitis will increase based on the following major risk factors-

Sex Of An Individual: Women remain at a relatively higher risk to suffer from interstitial cystitis as compared to men. Even though symptoms may mimic interstitial cystitis, they have relations with prostration i.e. the inflammation of prostates.

Color Of Your Hair And Skin: If you have red hair and fair skin, you remain at a high risk to suffer from interstitial cystitis.

Age Of A Person: Many individuals suffering from interstitial cystitis have their problems when they are at 30 years age or more.

People Experiencing Chronic Pain And Disorder: Interstitial cystitis has close association with several other types of chronic pain and/or disorders, like fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.(4)

Is There A Blood Test For Interstitial Cystitis?

No, a patient of interstitial cystitis does not need to undergo a blood test. However, doctors recommend other tests to identify the condition. These include the following-

Urinalysis And Urine Sample: The patient has to provide a urine sample and the doctor will examine it under a microscope. This will determine the presence of any germ, organism, pus, and white blood cells, which indicate an infection. Your doctor will recommend certain antibiotics to treat the respective infection. In the case, you have sterile urine for many weeks or months and your symptoms continue, doctors will recommend for a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis.

Biopsy Of Urethra And Bladder Wall: Biopsy refers to a tissue sample collected from the body of a patient to conduct a close examination under anesthesia. Doctors will collect the tissue from the urethra and bladder wall for ruling out any other condition. A biopsy is especially helpful in ruling out bladder cancer.

Cystoscopy Of The Bladder With/Without Bladder Biopsy: Your doctor will examine the inner area of your bladder by using an instrument called a cystoscope. This is a thin and long scope equipped with an eyepiece on a particular end. Doctors place the device in the bladder and above urethra to view the bladder from the eyepiece.

Cystoscopy helps rule out bladder cancer. If a patient plans for bladder biopsy as well, doctors may perform both the procedure simultaneously. However, bladder biopsy treatment requires the use of anesthesia.

Cystoscopy With Bladder Distension Under Anesthesia: Doctors recommend cystoscopy treatment combined with stretching i.e. bladder distension. Accordingly, your doctor will conduct cystoscopy and later on, stretches/distends the bladder to up to its highest possible capacity by simply filling water. The procedure can highlight bladder cracks and it needs anesthesia, as stretching is painful for interstitial cystitis patients. Many IC and/or BPS patients have obtained temporary relief from their underlying symptoms after the procedure.


To conclude, we should say that there are different risk factors, especially the sex of a person related to the problem of interstitial cystitis. However, doctors do not recommend for any blood test; instead, recommend additional tests.


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:November 18, 2020

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