Doctor holding a model of a bladder, illustrating using a pointer.

About Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a chronic bladder condition resulting in recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder or surrounding pelvic region. People with IC usually have inflamed or irritated bladder walls which can cause scarring and stiffening of the bladder.

Who is at risk for IC?

IC affects men and women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds and ages. However, it is more common in women than men. Early prevalence research suggested that IC ranged from 1 out of every 100,000 to 5.1 out of every 100,000 in the general population; but updated epidemiologic research conducted in 2006 suggests that up to 12% of women may have early symptoms of IC.

African American woman on sofa holding her stomach, experiencing abdominal pain.

What causes IC?

The cause(s) of IC is currently unknown. Its diagnosis is often made only after excluding other urinary bladder causes.

Page last reviewed: June 14, 2022, 01:14 pm