The signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis vary from person to person. If you have interstitial cystitis, your symptoms may also vary over time, periodically flaring in response to common triggers, such as menstruation, sitting for a long time, stress, exercise and sexual activity.

Interstitial cystitis signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain in your pelvis or between the vagina and anus in women or between the scrotum and anus in men (perineum).
  • Chronic pelvic pain.
  • A persistent, urgent need to urinate.
  • Frequent urination, often of small amounts, throughout the day and night. People with severe interstitial cystitis may urinate as often as 60 times a day.
  • Pain or discomfort while the bladder fills and relief after urinating.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.

The severity of symptoms caused by interstitial cystitis often varies, and some people may experience periods during which symptoms disappear.

Although signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis may resemble those of a chronic urinary tract infection, urine cultures are usually free of bacteria. -However, symptoms may worsen if a person with interstitial cystitis gets a urinary tract infection.

When to see a doctor

If you're experiencing chronic bladder pain or urinary urgency and frequency, contact your doctor.

Jan. 02, 2014

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.