Interstitial Cystitis (IC) Overview
IC may be caused by a breakdown of the protective lining of the bladder—or glycosaminoglycan layer—that may allow potentially irritating solutes in the urine to reach the cells of the bladder wall.2
The etiology of IC is not completely understood, but several theories have been proposed.3 These theories include
Studies have revealed that IC is far more prevalent than previously thought.3,4 Although IC is most commonly diagnosed in women, it is being recognized increasingly in men.3
Patient presentation of IC is variable—symptoms may range from mild discomfort, pressure, or tenderness to intense pain in the bladder and/or pelvic region. Symptoms may also include urgency, frequency, nocturia, and painful intercourse.5
Often, symptoms of IC mimic those of other conditions.1,2 Due in part to these “mimicking conditions,” patients with IC can be symptomatic for years before a correct diagnosis is made.6 For more information, go to Mimicking Conditions.
Tools exist to help evaluate patients for IC. For more information on identifying and assisting with the diagnosis of patients for IC, go to Patient Evaluation.
Therapeutic agents exist for the treatment of IC. Along with pharmacologic agents, diet, and lifestyle modifications, patients should receive counseling on expectations for treatment and ways to help manage their condition.7
For information about treating IC with ELMIRON®, go to ELMIRON for IC.