Interstitial Cystitis Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis
What is Interstitial Cystitis?
Interstitial Cystitis (IC), also known as bladder pain syndrome, is a chronic bladder infection. IC symptoms are often categorized by pain and pressure in the pelvic area. This pain and pressure is also accompanied by continuous symptoms of Reoccurring Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).
For most patients, symptoms do not start off with the feeling of a typical bladder infection, but it begins with mild intermittent symptoms which often leads to the common error of misdiagnosis. The misdiagnosis is often a Urinary Tract Infection. Interstitial Cystitis often begins with symptom flares associated with sexual activity, with pain and urgency to urinate as later onset symptoms. In some cases, symptoms begin before age 30. A diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis isn’t made until age 40. Genetics appear to play a large role in developing IC.
Interstitial Cystitis Common Symptoms:
- For women, pain during sex
- For men, pain during orgasm or after sex
- Bladder pressure and pain as your bladder fills up.
- For women, pain in the vulva as well as the vagina
- For men, pain in the scrotum, as well as testicles or penis
- Frequent urge to urinate (more than the normal 7-8 times per day)
- Pain in your lower abdomen, lower back, pelvis, or urethra (A tube that carries urine out of your body)
How does interstitial cystitis begin? Experts do not know the exact cause of Interstitial Cystitis. However, more than one mechanism may be involved. First of, patients most often tie specific activities that lead to flare ups of their symptoms to the cause of their Interstitial Cystitis. These activities include:
- Irritation caused by defects in the lining of the urinary bladder
- Bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic infection(s)
- Overstretching of the bladder
- Pelvic floor muscle malfunction
- Autoimmune disorders
- Spinal cord trauma
The following may be helpful in diagnosing Interstitial Cystitis:
- Medical history and bladder diary.
- Pelvic exam.
- Urine test. A sample of your urine is analyzed for signs of a urinary tract infection.
- Cystoscopy. Your doctor inserts a thin tube with a small camera (cystoscope) up the urethra, showing the lining of your bladder.
- Tissue biopsy. Removing a sample of tissue (biopsy) from the bladder or the urethra for microscopy examination.
- Urine cytology. Your doctor collects a urine sample and examines the cells to help rule out cancer.
When Should I get tested?
Current methods of testing for Interstitial Cystitis are out- dated. This, however, leads to more chronic infections in other parts of the urinary tract. Shockingly, only 10% of microbes can be identified in a culture. This means 90% of possible infections are completely un-diagnosed with the current standard method of testing. When it comes to diagnosing the cause infections such as reoccurring interstitial cystitis, bladder infection, or Urinary Tract Infection. What happens in the biome of your urinary system at times can be complicated. The Xplore-PATHO Urine collection kit is the most comprehensive microbial identification service in the world, identifying 100% of microbes known to modern science. A urine collection kit is used to determine the root cause of a chronic infection. As a result, your doctor will have a comprehensive picture of what’s going on in your system.