Understanding IC/BPS

Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome is a condition that consists of recurring pelvic pain, pressure, or discomfort in the bladder and pelvic region, often associated with urinary frequency and urgency.

About IC/BPS

Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (in-ter-stish-uhl sĭ-stī’tĭs), or as we call it, IC/BPS, is a condition that consists of recurring pelvic pain, pressure, or discomfort in the bladder and pelvic region, often associated with urinary frequency (needing to go often) and urgency (feeling a strong need to go).

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.

What is Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome?

Interstitial Cystitis is a chronic bladder condition affecting 4 to 12 million people in the US. We often say that interstitial cystitis is as hard to say as it is to live with. Trouble saying interstitial cystitis? It is also called IC/BPS, painful bladder syndrome (PBS), bladder pain syndrome (BPS), and chronic pelvic pain (CPP).

Causes of IC/BPS

The exact cause of interstitial cystitis (IC/BPS) remains a mystery, but researchers have identified a number of different factors that may contribute to the development of the condition.

Symptoms of IC/BPS

Learn about the symptoms of IC/BPS and how IC/BPS patients may present with varied symptoms.

Diagnosis of IC/BPS

IC/BPS is difficult to diagnosis and the diagnosis can easily be missed. Get an overview of the diagnostic procedures used by healthcare providers when diagnosing IC/BPS. Find out about potential wrong diagnoses and related conditions. Read about promising noninvasive, urine tests!

IC/BPS Treatments

There is no cure for IC/BPS, but there are effective treatments for controlling many of the symptoms of IC/BPS. A combination of therapies is recommended for most patients. Here’s information about diet and other lifestyle techniques, physical therapy, medicines, neurostimulation, and complementary and alternative treatments.

Women & IC/BPS

Pregnancy and special considerations for pelvic exams are just some of the issues associated with IC/BPS that are unique to women.

Men & IC/BPS

Yes, men also get IC/BPS! Read about the elements of this condition that are unique to men.

Children & IC/BPS

Many IC/BPS patients recall having symptoms during childhood. Although similar to adults in the way IC/BPS presents in the body, not all treatments carry over from adults to children. Learn more about treatments for children with IC/BPS.

IC/BPS in Other Languages

IC/BPS information in Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), German, French, Italian, and Japanese.

Associated Conditions

Published studies and patient reports reveal that other chronic conditions occur more frequently in IC/BPS patients than in the general population including autoimmune diseases, rheumatic disorders, and
neurologic conditions.

IC/BPS Awareness Toolkit

An awareness event is a great way to help other understand more about IC/BPS. You’ll find ideas about how to get involved, facts about IC/BPS, and links to other resources. Get involved! Help everyone Dare to be ICAware!