Interstitial Cystitis: Also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome or IC. It is a very common disorder of the bladder, it is estimated that about one out of every six reproductive aged women have some degree of IC. This condition is caused by a loss of the “protective lining” of the inside of the bladder, allowing for an inflammatory reaction of the bladder wall. Since urine is ordinarily very acidic and with the protective lining already diminished, the acidic nature of the urine also causes an inflammatory response which in turn triggers off symptoms of urinary frequency, urgency, and pain, pressure or discomfort anywhere in the pelvic region.
Unfortunately, many pelvic practitioners do not mention or think about this disorder when diagnosing pelvic, sexual, or genital discomfort. However, cumulative research has shown that persistent pain in the pelvic region is triggered by the bladder and/or bowl function at least 80% of the time and by gynecological disorders alone only 20% of the time.
If you are being diagnosed with frequent urinary tract infections or "UTIs", always ask your practitioner for a urine culture before taking any antibiotics. Instant "dip sticks" of your urine can look the same with IC as in a UTI.
For more information we recommend:
Interstitial Cystitis Association
Stephanie Yeager: Passionate about spreading the word of hope and healing for those like her, influencing a paradigm shift in the medical community toward greater understanding of chronic pelvic pain disorders, and prevention initiatives that may protect young women before onset can occur.