|Interstitial cystitis is an inflammation of the urinary bladder. Pinpoint areas of bleeding (glomerulations) develop in the bladder wall, resulting in scar tissue that causes the bladder to stiffen and contract, making it less able to expand, and markedly reducing its capacity. Interstitial cystitis is much less common than cystitis caused from a bacterial urinary tract infection.|
The exact cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown. Possible causes include disorders in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the bladder (autoimmune disorder), an allergic reaction, hormonal disturbances, defects in the mucous lining that normally protect the bladder, the presence of toxic substances in the urine, or an abnormality of the spine. Interstitial cystitis might also be related to scarring from a condition in which fragments of the uterine lining are found in other parts of the pelvic cavity (endometriosis) or from surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy), since women who experience interstitial cystitis more commonly have both these conditions.
Biological risk factors include previous urinary tract infections, gynecological surgery and immunological disease. Some research is investigating possible genetic factors of IC.
Risk: The approximate 700,000 women diagnosed with this condition account for about 90% of cases the US, with a median age of 43 (Metts 1199).
Incidence and Prevalence: Interstitial cystitis occurs in approximately 60 out of 100,000 women in the US (Rovner).
Source: Medical Disability Advisor