Diagnosing interstitial cystitis is notoriously difficult. On average, patients go four years after symptoms of IC appear before receiving a diagnosis. Common symptoms of IC include:
- Chronic pelvic pain, and pressure, pain and tenderness around the bladder, pelvis and perineum
- Pain during intercourse
- Frequent urination (up to 60 times a day in severe cases) and a persistent urge to urinate
- Urinary discomfort
- Pain or discomfort in the penis and scrotum (for men)
- Worsening symptoms around the menstrual cycle (for women)
Stress may intensify symptoms, although stress does not cause the symptoms. In addition, IC sufferers are prone to depression because of the pain and lifestyle changes associated with the condition.