IC: Easily Mistaken for Other Conditions

Because interstitial cystitis (IC) can be easily confused with other health conditions,
it may often be misdiagnosed or undiagnosed for a long time. It is not uncommon for someone with IC to see several doctors over the course of many years before they are actually diagnosed with the condition.

Symptoms of IC can be similar to those associated with other conditions, such as:
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Overactive bladder
In women, specifically, physicians may initially suspect:
  • Endometriosis (which can also coexist with IC)
  • Vulvodynia
In men, the symptoms can be confused with:
  • Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis
  • Benign prostatic hypertrophy, a condition commonly referred to as enlarged prostate
  • Epididymitis

Talking to a healthcare professional about IC

If you think you may have IC, speak to a healthcare professional. Specialists such as gynecologists and urologists are most familiar with IC. However, with greater awareness of IC, more doctors are asking themselves, "Is it IC?" earlier.

That's good news. But it's not enough. If you think you may have IC, be persistent in finding answers. How? Know — and ask — the right questions. And, if you don't think you've received the best answer, ask again or speak with another healthcare professional.