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Painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis)

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Last updated July 19, 2023

Painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis) quiz

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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.


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.

Ready to treat your painful bladder syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis)?

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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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