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Painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis)

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Last updated June 11, 2022

Painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis) quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your pain.

Painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis) quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your pain.

Take painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis) quiz

What is painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis)?

Painful bladder syndrome, also called interstitial cystitis or IC, is a chronic condition of pain and discomfort in the urinary tract.

The cause is unknown. It may be an autoimmune disorder and is often found with fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, or vulvodynia (pain in the outer female organs). Some researchers feel the condition may be linked to a history of abuse.

IC is more common in women than in men, but can happen to anyone.

Treatment

There is no single cure, so treatment is a stepwise holistic plan that involves lifestyle changes, pelvic floor therapy, addressing the symptoms with medication, and even surgery.

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Dr. Rothschild has been a faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He currently practices as a hospitalist at Newton Wellesley Hospital. In 1978, Dr. Rothschild received his MD at the Medical College of Wisconsin and trained in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in critical care medicine. He also received an MP...
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