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Interstitial cystitis is a long-term irritation of the bladder. It can cause mild to severe pain that comes and goes. You also may feel a sudden urge to urinate or need to urinate often. Sometimes the walls of the bladder become scarred or get stiff.
Doctors do not know what causes interstitial cystitis. But they do know that it is not caused by an infection. The problem is much more common in women than in men. Your doctor may do tests to make sure that you do not have an infection, kidney stones, or bladder cancer.
Because the cause of interstitial cystitis is not known, your doctor may try several treatments. It may take several weeks or months to find a treatment that works. If diet and lifestyle changes do not help, you may need medicine. Your doctor may also put liquid or medicine into your bladder for a short time to treat the pain.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: October 18, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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