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Interstitial Cystitis

Also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome

Interstitial cystitis (in-ter-stish-uhl sĭ-stī’tĭs)/bladder pain syndrome, or as we call it, IC/BPS, is a bladder condition that usually consists of multiple symptoms. Most IC/BPS patients have recurring pelvic pain, pressure, or discomfort in the bladder and pelvic region, and urinary frequency (needing to go often) and urgency (feeling a strong need to go).

IC may also be referred to as painful bladder syndrome (PBS), bladder pain syndrome (BPS), and chronic pelvic pain.

It is important to note that not everyone with IC with have Hunners lesions. Only about 20 % of IC patients have Hunners lesion. 

Currently there are two recognized subtypes of IC/BPS: non-ulcerative and ulcerative.

  • Non-ulcerative: 90% of IC/BPS patients have the non-ulcerative form of IC/BPS. Non-ulcerative IC/BPS presents with pinpoint hemorrhages, also known as glomerulations, in the bladder wall. However, these are not specific for IC/BPS and any inflammation of the bladder can give that appearance.

  • Ulcerative: 5 to 10% of IC/BPS patients have the ulcerative form of IC/BPS. These patients usually have Hunner’s ulcers or patches, which are red, bleeding areas on the bladder wall.


Because IC/BPS symptoms are similar to those of other disorders of the bladder and there is no definitive test to identify IC/BPS, doctors must rule out other treatable conditions before considering a diagnosis of IC/BPS. The most common of these diseases in both sexes are urinary tract cancer and bladder cancer. In men, common diseases include chronic prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. IC/BPS is not associated with any increased risk of developing cancer.


The diagnosis of IC/BPS is based on the

  • presence of pain related to the bladder, usually accompanied by frequency and urgency

  • absence of other diseases that could cause the symptoms

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy has the most promising outcome for IC. It is important to find a Pelvic PT who has experience and expertise to treat a complex pelvic condition. 

Unsure if pelvic physical therapy is the right choice for you? 

No worries! It is 100% normal to have questions and feel a level of uncertainty when exploring new treatment options. That's why we are offering all patients a free, 20-minute discovery call to address any concerns and answer any questions and alleviate any concerns you may have. You should not and do not have to learn to live with your pain! To schedule a call with us, simply click the button below.

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About Dr. Bhavti Soni 

Founder & CEO, Pelvic Health Specialist

Dr. Soni is a pelvic health expert and has been practicing pelvic physical therapy since 12 years and has been a PT since 15 years. She has extensive education in pelvic health and has been  part of expert panels, global conferences and pelvic health courses where she teaches other Pelvic PTs.  She worked in New York City with leading pelvic pain specialists for 4 years before moving to NJ in 2018 to raise a family and started her own premier Pelvic PT practice. She lives with her husband and 3 year old son.

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