This enigmatic condition is in essence chronic pain that is perceived to be coming from the bladder. There are many theories as to what may spark the initiation of the bladder pain, including trauma, infection, autoimmune, allergy, or even for unknown reasons, but it must be determined by first proving that the bladder pain is not infectious.
There are many pelvic pain conditions that may co-exist with IC/PBS such as vulvar/vaginal pain, urethral pain, deep pelvic pain, rectal pain, and many of the symptoms seen with IC/PBS can overlap with UTIs.
However, IC/PBS is a diagnosis of exclusion and other conditions must be ruled out in order to determine if IC/PBS is present.
The main characteristic is chronic bladder-sourced pain that is not relieved with typical pain treatments. Bladder pain can wax and wane and be alleviated or provoked by a wide variety of environmental and diet stimulants.
Lifestyle modification is one of the main keys to controlling this often-problematic bladder condition.