Interstitial cystitis (commonly abbreviated to “IC”) is a urinary bladder disease of unknown cause characterised by urinary frequency (as often as every 10 minutes), urgency, pressure and/or pain in the bladder and/or pelvis.
The pain typically increases as the bladder fills and reduces after voiding however some patients report pain with urination, often in the urethra.
Patients may also experience nocturia, pelvic floor dysfunction and tension (thus making it difficult to start their urine stream), pain with sexual intercourse, discomfort and difficulty to drive, travel or work. Research has determined that the quality of life of IC patients is equivalent to end stage renal failure.
Treatment of interstitial cystitis
It is aimed at reducing the pain and the need to void frequently. The pain of IC has been rated equivalent to cancer pain and should not be ignored to avoid central sensitization. The use of a variety of traditional pain medications, including opiates, is often necessary to treat the varying degrees of pain. We have successfully treated our patients with neurostimulation by retrograde introduction of the lead and stimulation of the sacral roots (attachment).