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Interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is a bladder condition that causes long-term pain and problems peeing.

Symptoms of interstitial cystitis include pain low down in your tummy, sudden urges to pee and needing to pee more often than normal.

Lifestyle changes like avoiding certain foods or drinks can help with interstitial cystitis. Some people may also need medicines or surgery.

The exact cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown. It's not a bladder infection like other types of cystitis.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of interstitial cystitis include pain low down in your tummy, sudden urges to pee and needing to pee more often than normal.

Symptoms of interstitial cystitis

The main symptoms of interstitial cystitis are:

The pain may be worse when your bladder is full and may be temporarily relieved when you go to the toilet.

You might also find the pain is worse during periods or after having certain foods or drinks.

The symptoms will often come and go in phases. You may have episodes lasting days, weeks or months where your symptoms improve, followed by times when they're worse.

Read more on the NHS website.

Lifestyle changes like avoiding certain foods or drinks can help with interstitial cystitis. Some people may also need medicines or surgery.

Self-care

Lifestyle changes will usually be recommended first.

Things that may help improve your symptoms include:

  • reducing stress – anything that helps you relax, such as exercise or regular warm baths, may help reduce your symptoms, and recent evidence suggests that mindfulness-based techniques, such as meditation, can help
  • avoiding certain foods or drinks (such as tomatoes and alcohol) if you notice they make your symptoms worse – but do not make significant changes to your diet without seeking medical advice first
  • stopping smoking – the chemicals you breathe in while smoking may irritate your bladder
  • controlling how much you drink – try to reduce the amount you drink before going to bed
  • planned toilet breaks – taking regular planned toilet breaks may help stop your bladder becoming too full

You may also find it useful to contact a support group, such as the Interstitial Cystitis Association or Bladder Health UK for information and advice about living with interstitial cystitis.

Medical treatments

Unfortunately, there's currently no cure for interstitial cystitis and it can be difficult to treat, although a number of treatments can be tried.

But no single treatment works for everyone, and there's disagreement about how effective some of them are.

You may need to try several treatments to find one that works for you.

Medicines and other therapies may be used if lifestyle changes not help, and surgery may be necessary as a last resort.

Read more on the NHS website.

The exact cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown. It's not a bladder infection like other types of cystitis.

Read more on the NHS website.