Interstitial Cystitis: Enhancing Early Identification in Primary Care Settings

Brittany N. Heck, FNP, MSN


Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 2007;3(8):509-519. 

In This Article


The unpredictable nature of IC and PBS leads providers to understand that not all patients will respond the same to treatment interventions. Management is focused on a multimodal approach, because patients may benefit from several different approaches.

The diagnosis and management of IC should not be limited to gynecologists and urologists. Primary care providers treat a significant number of the population affected by IC and PBS. With education, primary care providers can become familiar with screening and diagnostic options available to assist in diagnosis, because many of these options can be initiated in the primary care setting. Clinicians who are unfamiliar with aspects of the pathophysiology, diagnostic process, or treatment strategies are encouraged to consult with colleagues who may have experience in treating patients with IC. In addition, the Interstitial Cystitis Association serves as an excellent resource; the association provides current and cutting-edge information on the disease.

Primary care providers must be proactive in the diagnosis of IC. Patients may not recognize their symptoms as a significant problem. Because IC and PBS share characteristics common to other gynecologic and urologic diseases, primary care providers must have a heightened awareness in distinguishing IC and PBS from other diseases.


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