Does stress cause Interstitial Cystitis/ Bladder Pain Syndrome pain? Does de-stress relieve your pain?

If you have been diagnosed with either Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome or Myofascial Pelvic Pain you may be able to participate in a multi-site clinical research study funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH). The purpose of this clinical research study is to better understand the role stress plays in triggering pelvic pain that is associated with IC/BPS or MPP.

Study Information


ICECAN is a unique trial. ICECAN stands for Interstitial Cystitis – Evaluation of Central Autonomic Network.  The theory behind the trial is that stress plays a major role in triggering the pain of IC, IC flares, and possibly even IC itself.  That should show up clearly if we monitor the fight or flight system (by surface EKG) before the pain flare happens.  We should also be able to reduce flares if we reduce the activity of the fight or flight system by using a beta-blocker.

Over this 24 week trial, subjects will get a beta-blocker for 8 weeks and a placebo (sugar pill) for 8 weeks, without knowing which is which (blinded trial).  We expect less pain and fewer flares while on beta-blocker known as metoprolol.

Pre-Screen for Eligibility

  1. Are you a woman 18 or older?
  2. Do you have pelvic pain for > 3 months that bothers you more days than not?
  3. Do you have a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) or myofascial pelvic pain (MPP), or do you think you have one of these disorders?
  4. Other than pain, are you otherwise mostly healthy?
  5. Do you not take a type of drug called a beta-blocker, or are you not allergic to beta-blockers?

If you have answered “yes” to the above questions, and are interested in participating in ICECAN, please contact us at one of the convenient clinical locations listed below:

Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
Crystal O’Hara
Ph: 414-955-0646

Thank you for your time and consideration, you can find a full synopsis of this clinical trial on

Revised Friday, October 1st, 2021