SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
The signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis vary from person to person. If you have interstitial cystitis, your symptoms may also vary over time, periodically flaring in response to common triggers, such as menstruation, sitting for a long time, stress, exercise and sexual activity.
Interstitial cystitis symptoms include:
- Pain in your pelvis (suprapubic) or between the vagina and anus in women or between the scrotum and anus in men (perineal).
- Chronic pelvic pain.
- A persistent, urgent need to urinate.
- Frequent urination, often of small amounts, throughout the day and night. People with severe interstitial cystitis may urinate as often as 60 times a day.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
Some people affected by interstitial cystitis experience only pain, and some experience pressure or discomfort along with frequent, urgent urination. Most affected people, however, experience both pain and frequent, urgent urination.
Although signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis may resemble those of a chronic urinary tract infection, urine cultures are usually free of bacteria. However, a worsening of symptoms may occur if a person with interstitial cystitis gets a urinary tract infection.
When to see a doctor
If you're experiencing chronic bladder pain or urinary urgency and frequency, contact your doctor.
- Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/interstitialcystitis/. Accessed Nov. 23, 2010.
- Fitzgerald MP. Clinical features and diagnosis of painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 23, 2010.
- Interstitial cystitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/sec17/ch228/ch228e.html. Accessed Nov. 23, 2010.
- Hanno PM, et al. Bladder pain syndrome. Medical Clinics of North America. 2011;95:55.
- Hanno PM. Painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis and related disorders. In: Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/113536197-2/0/1445/13.html?tocnode=54300277&fromURL=13.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-7216-0798-6..50012-1_840. Accessed Nov. 23, 2010.
- Engelhardt PF, et al. Long-term results of intravesical hyaluronan therapy in bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis. International Urogynecology Journal. In Press. Accessed Nov. 23, 2010.
- Homma Y, et al. Clinical guidelines for interstitial cystitis and hypersensitive bladder syndrome. International Journal of Urology. 2009;16:597.
- Fitzgerald MP. Treatment of painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 23, 2010.