Mission, Vision, & Our Promise to You

Early diagnosis and optimal care with dignity for people affected by IC/BPS…

Mission, Vision, and Our Promise to You!

The Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA) advocates for research dedicated to discovery of a cure and better treatments, raises awareness, and serves as a central hub for the healthcare providers, researchers and millions of patients who suffer with constant urinary urgency and frequency and extreme bladder pain called IC/BPS, or interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome.


Conquering IC/BPS. Changing lives.


Early diagnosis and optimal care with dignity for people affected by IC/BPS…

The ICA was established in 1984 to put a face on all those affected by IC/BPS and remains today as the only non-profit health association solely dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare and lives of people living with IC/BPS. To fulfill its mission, the ICA pursues three core functions:

  • Advocacy: By rallying a grassroots network, the ICA raises awareness among legislators and government leaders about the need for increased levels of dedicated federal funding for IC/BPS research. ICA advocacy efforts also help empower patients around the country and the world, teaching them to become self-advocates for their healthcare needs.
  • Research: Each IC/BPS diagnosis means a new fight for someone’s spouse, parent, child, or friend. The ICA advocates for IC/BPS research funding through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for further exploration to discover better treatments and ultimately a cure for IC/BPS.
  • Education: The ICA’s educational programs bring critical health information and support to IC/BPS patients, caregivers, and their loved ones. With the increased prevalence of IC/BPS, the need for educational programming is expanding. The ICA reach extends to healthcare providers—we work to improve professional educational efforts with the aim of ensuring optimal care with dignity for all people with IC/BPS.

The generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, and other organizations allows us to disseminate current information, continue advocacy efforts, provide support, and offer hope to the millions of people with IC/BPS, as well as the researchers and healthcare providers who strive to improve their quality of life. Learn about the different ways you can give to the ICA.

Tangible Results

Each year the ICA summarizes the accomplishment for the last fiscal year in the ICA Annual Report. Thanks to the work of so many, the ICA is making a real difference: Tangible accomplishments include:

  • Moving IC/BPS from being thought of as a hysterical women’s disease to a real physical problem
  • Putting IC/BPS in the vocabulary of the urologists and other healthcare providers
  • Getting dedicated IC/BPS research in the budget of the NIH
  • Partnering with CDC to raise awareness
  • Funding pilot research identifying biomarkers and the groundwork for potential urine tests

We collect metrics on key initiatives and track our progress in giving a voice and hope to millions of people. For major initiatives, we collect feedback, evaluate programming, survey constituents and reflect on lessons learned—adjusting our approach and strategy as needed to optimize impact.

Learn More About How We Are Making a Difference