Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome

Alis Kolter Panzera, MSN, CRNP


Urol Nurs. 2007;27(1):13-19. 

In This Article

Summary and Introduction


Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic, painful bladder syndrome primarily found in women. Although the direct cause(s) of IC are unknown, several theories exist. Common symptoms include urinary urgency, frequency, and pain. Treatment options include behavioral therapies, use of pharmacologic agents, and surgery. Patients benefit from prompt diagnosis and initiation of treatments. Important clinical features of IC in women including the pathology, common symptoms, and recommended evaluation and management strategies are reviewed.


Interstitial cystitis (IC) can be described as a chronic irritative bladder syndrome. The term IC has recently been revised and the condition is currently referred to as either painful bladder syndrome or IC (PBS/IC) as there is no definitive marker to identify IC as a disease. PBS/IC is prevalent among the general female population with as many as 750,000 women in the United States being affected (Parsons, 2003). The most common presenting symptoms are urinary urgency and frequency. Patients with PBS/IC see an average of eight clinicians over a 5 to 7-year course before being diagnosed accurately (Burkman, 2004). An overview of the pathology, symptomatology, physical findings, and management of PBS/IC, aimed at increasing awareness of this syndrome and improving patient identification, diagnosis, and outcomes, is provided.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.