Interstıtıal Cystısıs (IC)

What is Interstitial Cystitis? 

It is a kind of chronic cystitis. It is also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome or Bladder Pain Syndrome. Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a condition that can cause recurrent abdominal and pelvic discomfort or pain when there is no urinary infection. The symptoms are; Restlessness, increased sensation of bladder pressure, tenderness and intense pain in bladder and pelvic areas, increased urinary frequency and incontinence, or a combination of these. Pain is usually more common during menstruation and may be intensified during sexual intercourse. The pain is also known to increase with bladder filling and to decrease after voiding the bladder.

What causes the disease?

The most common complaint in patients undergoing investigations and IC diagnostics is the presence of openings, defects, lesions, discomfort and pain in the urine formed by the glycosaminoglycan layer in the bladder mucosa.

The glycosaminoglycan layer covering the bladder mucosa provides an epithelial barrier that prevents permeability of the bladder wall to the urine. This barrier prevents substances such as urea and calcium in the urine from damaging the bladder wall. It is thought that the most important symptom of the disease is the pain caused by the substances in the urine

In Whom can the disease be seen?

The disease starts at around 40 years of age, with 25% of patients under 30 years of age. Studies show that IC disease is very common and can be seen in almost 20% of women. The female / male ratio is about 10:1.

What are the indications of the disease?

Interstitial cystitis indications vary in different patients. The most common symptoms are; Frequent urinary incontinence, sudden urinary urgency, pain in the bladder or pain in the vagina. Often these symptoms may be caused by the all of them.

The frequency is explained as the need to urinate is more often than usual. Normally, an average person does not have to wake up at night to use the toilet, and the average is up to seven times a day. Patients with interstitial cystitis usually want to urinate during the day and at night, and many times. As this frequency increases, it causes a sudden urge to urinate. Sudden urges are common symptoms of interstitial cystitis. Some patients have a constant urge to urinate, which never disappears even after they have urinated. Others may not feel that impulse so much.

Bladder pain may worsen in patients with interstitial cystitis. Some patients with interstitial cystitis experience pain in other areas as well as in the bladder. Pain may occur in the urethra, lower abdomen, backbone or in the pelvic or perineal area. Women may feel pain in the vulva or vagina and men in the scrotum, testicle or penis. The pain can be continuous or intermittent.

Many patients with interstitial cystitis can detect certain things that make the indication worse. For example, some people's symptoms can become worse with certain foods or drinks. Many patients (physical or mental stress) also say that the symptoms are worse when they are stressed. Symptoms may vary with the menstrual cycle. Men and women with interstitial cystitis may also have difficulties with sexual activity. Because the bladder is directly in front of the vagina, women may have pain during intercourse. Men may experience painful orgasm or pain the next day.

How can it be treated?

For painful bladder syndrome, many available treatment options are often used to help alleviate bladder pain, urinary urgency and frequency symptoms. The patient may also support dietary treatments to reduce disease attacks.

Some of the recommended things to do to prevent the recurrence of the disease are:

           • Remain in medical care even after symptoms stop;

           • Avoid foods that may irritate the bladder;

           • Avoid certain activities or stresses that may aggravate the interstitial cystitis.

Certain foods or activities affecting the interstitial cystisis are different for different patients, so each person will need to create his own individual plan.