What is interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis, also known as “painful bladder syndrome” or “bladder pain syndrome,” is a chronic bladder condition most commonly pronounced by pain and pressure in the bladder area. Symptoms mimic those of a urinary tract infection. When symptoms persist for more than six weeks, and there is no infection nor are there kidney stones present, it may be interstitial cystitis.

The bladder is a hollow, pouch-like organ that stores urine. When it fills up, it signals the brain that it is time to empty. People with interstitial cystitis experience these signals more often and will feel pressure in the bladder, causing them to urinate smaller amounts more often.

Symptoms of this disease range from mild to severe. Some patients may feel constant pain and pressure on the bladder, while others may experience symptoms once in a while. A person with this condition can urinate up to 60 times a day.

Interstitial cystitis is more common in women than in men and tends first to affect people in their 30s and 40s.