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Middle-Aged Women With IC May Be at Higher Risk of Hysterectomy

Lee MH, Chang KM, Wu SL, Lin HH, Lin HY, Wu HC. A cohort study of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome and hysterectomy. Int Urogynecol J. 2016 Mar 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Hysterectomy is seen as a treatment of last resort for pelvic pain that may or may not work, depending on the patient. In this study, investigators reviewed insurance database records to determine whether having a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) increases the likelihood that women will undergo hysterectomy. To evaluate this, the researchers looked up the records of women who received a diagnosis of IC/BPS some time between 2002 and 2013, and looked to see whether they subsequently underwent a hysterectomy procedure. For comparison, they looked at records of women with similar demographic characteristics who did not have IC/BPS. The patients in both groups were stratified into three groups: young, middle age, and old. The researchers found that in the group of middle aged women, the risk of hysterectomy was in fact almost twice as high among patients who had IC/BPS than in the non-IC/BPS group. For the women with IC/BPS who did undergo hysterectomy, the average time from IC/BPS diagnosis to hysterectomy was about 3 years. These findings are important because IC/BPS symptoms are sometimes confused with those of other conditions, which may lead to inappropriate hysterectomy, the investigators said. To prevent that possibility, they added, women with suspected IC/BPS should be carefully evaluated before surgery so they don’t undergo inappropriate procedures.