Clinical Picture

Patients can present with many symptoms. These symptoms include urgency, frequency, pelvic pain, pelvic pressure, bladder spasm, dyspareunia, dysuria, awakening at night with pain, and pain that persists for many days after intercourse. The location of pain includes the vaginal area, the lower abdomen, suprapubic area, groin, or low back. Many symptoms are aggravated by menstruation and most of the patients believe that sexual intercourse exacerbates their symptoms.

To confirm bladder origin of pain, the patient is asked whether pain worsens if the bladder is full and if it improves with voiding. Bladder pain of IC is experienced suprapubically, in the perineum, vulva, vagina, or in the back or medial thigh. Most patients will also have nocturia, at least one to two times per night.

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