Living With IC

Recognizing IC

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic condition characterized by recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and/or pelvic area that keeps coming back.

Common IC Symptoms

Speak to your healthcare professional for an evaluation if you have any of these symptoms:

Unexplained pelvic pain or pressure

Pain during or after sexual intercourse

Frequent, sometimes painful, urination

Waking up at night to urinate

Urge to urinate even after emptying the bladder

Symptoms can come and go, change overtime, or flare up. Flares may be associated with certain foods, menstruation, sex, smoking, or stress.

IC Smart Habits

Dietary and lifestyle changes can help manage IC symptoms and flares:

  • Avoid foods known to be common bladder irritants
  • Try gentle exercise such as walking, yoga, or low-impact aerobics
  • Use stress-reduction techniques like controlled breathing exercises
  • Try bladder retraining (lengthening time between bathroom visits)
  • Apply warm or cold compresses to the lower abdomen

What Causes IC?

IC may be caused by a breakdown of the protective lining of the bladder, which may allow potentially irritating solutes in the urine to reach the cells of the bladder wall