Interstitial cystitis, also known as painful bladder syndrome is a chronic bladder condition most commonly known by pain and pressure in the bladder area. Symptoms mimic those of a urinary tract infection. When symptoms persist for more than six weeks, and there is no infection, and no kidney stones are present, there is a strong likelihood that interstitial cystitis is the cause. The bladder is a hollow, pouch-like organ that stores urine. When it fills up, it signals the brain that it is time to empty. People with interstitial cystitis experience these signals more often. They will feel pressure in the bladder that causes them to urinate smaller amounts frequently.
Frequent urination is a common symptom of interstitial cystitis. People who experience this condition may urinate as much as 60 times a day. The pressure in the bladder causes people to feel the need to urinate but the amount of urine expelled is quite small. Frequent urination can cause women, in particular, to experience secondary symptoms like vaginal irritation caused by near-constant exposure to urine and even toilet paper. Many people initially think they are experiencing a urinary tract infection, but if no infection is detected, the issue could be interstitial cystitis.
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