Interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as bladder pain syndrome (BPS), is a type of chronic pain that affects the bladder. Symptoms include feeling the need to urinate right away, needing to urinate often, and pain with sex. IC/BPS is associated with depression and lower quality of life. Many of those affected also have irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia.
The cause of IC/BPS is unknown. While it can, it does not typically run in a family. The diagnosis is usually based on the symptoms after ruling out other conditions. Typically the urine culture is negative. Ulceration or inflammation may be seen on cystoscopy. Other conditions which can produce similar symptoms include urinary tract infection (UTI), overactive bladder, sexually transmitted infections, endometriosis, bladder cancer, and prostatitis.
There is no cure for interstitial cystitis. Treatments that may improve symptoms include lifestyle changes, medications, or procedures. Lifestyle changes may include stopping smoking and reducing stress. Medications may include ibuprofen, pentosan polysulfate, or amitriptyline. Procedures may include bladder distention, nerve stimulation, or surgery. Pelvic floor exercises and long term antibiotics are not recommended.
In the United States and Europe, it is estimated that around 0.5% of people are affected. Women are affected about five times as often as men. Onset is typically in middle age. The term "interstitial cystitis" first came into use in 1887.