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The median age at diagnosis is 42-46 years, and the average person has symptoms for 3-4 years before diagnosis. Many women are mistakenly diagnosed as having recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs), urethral syndrome, endometriosis, or vulvodynia. Interstitial Cystitis (IC), also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS), is a clinical syndrome of urinary urgency, urinary frequency, and pelvic pain that usually worsens with bladder filling. The pain can also radiate to the lower back, urethra, vagina, rectum and the suprapubic area. The diagnosis is made after all other possible causes for pain have been ruled out, such as urinary tract infection, gynecologic problems or stones. PBS is much more common in women than men, although a similar syndrome in men is known as chronic prostatitis or male chronic pelvic pain syndrome. IC/PBS is a difficult problem to diagnose, so estimating how many suffer from it is problematic. One estimate is as high as 500 out of every 100,000 people. WSUS 2008 University of Washington (Seattle, WA) Claire C. Yang, MD Claire C. Yang, MD 20 INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS AND PAINFUL BLADDER SYNDROME (IC/PBS) The cause for this painful syndrome is unknown, but there are many theories as to the possibilities. These include an inflammatory, infectious or allergic reaction causing damage to the bladder lining. The resultant damage to the bladder lining causes pain. However, there are many persons with PBS who do not have evidence of inflammation or bladder lining disruption. For this reason, the name Painful Bladder Syndrome is considered by many physicians to be more appropriate than Interstitial Cystitis (cyst = bladder, itis = inflammation), the latter implying that there is an inflammatory process within the bladder. There is on-going research into the causes of IC/PBS. Interstitial Cystitis And Painful Bladder Syndrome (IC/PBS) WSUS Women’s Health Guide Hot Topic #07

Interstitial Cystitis and Painful Bladder Syndrome

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