Interstitial cystitis – also called painful bladder syndrome – is a chronic condition characterized by a combination of uncomfortable bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pain in your pelvis. This pain can range from mild burning or discomfort to severe pain. In IC the bladder wall may be irritated and become scarred or stiff. Glomerulations (pinpoint bleeding) often appear on the bladder wall. Hunner’s ulcers (patches of broken skin found on the bladder wall) are present in 10 percent of people with Interstitial cystitis.
The symptoms of IC vary for different patients. If you have IC, you may have urinary frequency/urgency or pain, pressure and discomfort perceived to be from the bladder or all of these symptoms.
Frequency is the need to urinate more often than normal. Normally, the average person urinates no more than seven times a day, and does not have to get up at night to use the bathroom. An Interstitial cystitis patient often has to urinate frequently both day and night. As frequency becomes more severe, it leads to urgency. Urgency to urinate is a common symptom. Some patients feel a constant urge that never goes away, even right after urinating. While others with IC urinate often, they do not necessarily feel the urge to go all the time.
Interstitial cystitis is more common in women than in men. It is estimated that 3.3 women suffer from this disease.