What is the disease course of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS)?

Updated: Dec 04, 2020
  • Author: Eric S Rovner, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Interstitial cystitis is characterized by periods of exacerbation followed by variable periods of remission; some patients have completely asymptomatic periods interspersed with flares. Symptoms may vary daily or weekly or may be constant and unrelenting for months or years and then resolve spontaneously with or without therapy. Spontaneous remission occurs in as many as 50% of patients at a mean of 8 months. In females, symptoms may fluctuate relative to the ovulatory cycle. As with other autoimmune conditions, some pregnant women may experience periods of remission during the second and third trimester, further supporting an immune-mediated pathophysiology.


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