Interstitial Cystitis / Bladder Pain Syndrome (IC/BPS)
This condition is defined as bladder pain, pressure or discomfort associated with urinary urgency, frequency and nocturia in the absence of an infection or other identifiable causes.
IC/BPS pain can range from mild, annoying discomfort to excruciating and debilitating. In addition to bladder pain, patients with IC/BPS might also have pain in the lower abdomen or back, urethra, vagina, testes, scrotum, perineum, or thighs. Patients can suffer from periods of flares and remissions of indeterminable frequency, duration and intensity, lasting hours to weeks; bladder pain may exacerbate with certain comestibles, with sexual activity, orgasm or ejaculation and with bladder filling. Bladder pain typically improves with urination. Recent epidemiological studies have shown that 3 to 8 million women and 2 to 4 million men in in US are affected by symptoms of IC/BPS, unfortunately, many of these men and women go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years, receiving no treatment or inappropriate treatment. This can unnecessarily prolong their pain, suffering and frustration and negatively impact their quality of life. Incorporating multidisciplinary team to care for the patient is extremely important. Although there is no known “cure” for IC at this time, treatment is individually tailored to each patient based upon their symptoms and other co-morbid conditions. Treatment strategies include oral medication, medication put directly into the bladder, physical therapy, pain management, counseling, behavioral therapy and stress management techniques.