Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a long-term, yet treatable, inflammatory medical condition of the bladder wall.

While the exact cause is unknown, many experts believe that IC occurs when the mucous layer that lines and protects the bladder wall is damaged. This allows irritating substances in the urine to aggravate and inflame the bladder wall.

Could IC be causing your symptoms?

The symptoms of IC can vary from person to person. In fact, symptoms may vary over time in just one individual.
If you have one or all of these symptoms, you may want to speak to your doctor to determine whether or not you have IC.

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Pain during or after sexual intercourse
  • Frequent, sometimes painful urination during the day – perhaps every hour
  • The urge to urinate, even after relieving the bladder
  • Waking during sleep to urinate
  • Pain a week before menstruation

Many people have IC.

Although the exact number of people with IC is unknown, current estimates suggest there may be as many as 9 million women in the U.S. who suffer from chronic pelvic pain – up to 7 million suffering from IC, specifically. So, if your doctor does determine that you have IC, you’re not alone.

Where should you begin?

If you think you might have IC, talk to your doctor now. The earlier you detect it, the better. To help you discuss your symptoms with your doctor, complete and print off the IC Pre-Screener section below.

IC Pre-Screener

For each question, please mark the score (0 to 4) that best describes how you feel. If your total score is 10 or higher, you should strongly consider taking these results to your doctor. Please remember – only your doctor can provide an accurate evaluation of your symptoms.

0

1

2

3

4

SCORE

1

How many times do you go to the bathroom during the day?

3-6

7-10

11-14

15-19

20+

2

a) How many times do you go to the bathroom at night?b) If you get up at night to go to the bathroom, does it bother you?

0

Never

1

Mildly

2

Moderately

3

Severely

4+

3

a) If you are sexually active, do you now or have you ever had pain or symptoms during or after sexual intercourse?b) If you have pain, does it make you avoid sexual intercourse?

Never

Never

Occasionally

Occasionally

Usually

Usually

Always

Always

4

Do you have pain associated with your bladder, pelvis or lower abdomen?

Never

Occasionally

Usually

Always

5

Do you still feel the urge to urinate after you go to the bathroom?

Never

Occasionally

Usually

Always

6

a) If you have pain, is it usually:b) Does this urge bother you? Never

Mild

Occasionally

Moderate

Usually

Severe

Always

7

a) If you feel the urge to urinate, is it usually:b) Does this urge bother you? Never

Mild

Occasionally

Moderate

Usually

Severe

Always

Total Score: