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Bladder Pain Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis)

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

Bladder pain syndrome (interstitial cystitis) is a problem that causes pain in the bladder or pelvis. It also causes an urgent, frequent need to urinate. The problem is much more common in women than in men.

To diagnose bladder pain syndrome (BPS), your doctor may do a test called cystoscopy that uses a thin, lighted tube to see the inside of your bladder. He or she may also do a urine test to rule out other problems, such as a urinary tract infection.

What causes BPS?

Some doctors think BPS may be caused by abnormal changes in the lining of the bladder. But the cause isn't clear. Because of this, treatment focuses on helping to relieve symptoms. Your doctor may have you use a bladder diary to record how often you urinate and about how much urine is released.

What are the symptoms?

The pain from BPS can be mild to severe but almost always goes away right after you urinate. Other symptoms of BPS include:

People with BPS may go days or weeks with no symptoms.

How is it treated?

Treatment may include:

How can you manage your pain?

Your doctor will help you manage your pain, but there are also things you can do. Here are some ideas:

What else can you do?

Other things you can do to manage the symptoms of BPS include:


Credits for Bladder Pain Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis)

Current as of: February 10, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Avery L. Seifert MD - Urology


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