Bladder pain or interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic condition that occurs when your bladder becomes irritated or inflamed (creating a full feeling) and causes your brain to think it is time to urinate when it is not truly full. This also causes the bladder wall to stiffen, which makes it hard for the bladder to fully expand when it fills with urine.
The main symptom of interstitial cystitis is pain. Generally this pain is strongest when the bladder fills and lessens when the bladder empties. You can also experience pain in your lower back, abdomen or groin as well as bladder pressure. This condition is more common in women, and can cause you to urinate more frequently or have an urge to urinate and only pass a little bit each time. Those with severe cases may urinate as often as 60 times a day.
While there is no way to eliminate interstitial cystitis, there are medications, behavioral modifications and therapies that may provide relief.
Treating IC usually requires using more than one treatment at a time, and not uncommonly with multiple specialists.