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Interstitial Cystitis is characterized by pelvic pain and urinary symptoms.  Many women with Interstitial Cystitis experience pain with intercourse, frequent urination, and voiding more than once at night.  Other symptoms may include bloating, pain that radiates down the legs, pain during menses and symptoms that feel much like a bladder infection.  It is unusual for a woman to have more than three bladder infections in her lifetime.  Women who are repeatedly diagnosed with bladder infections may have Interstitial Cystitis.  Symptoms are often worse with increased stress, eating spicy or acidic foods, and the consumption of caffeine or alcohol.   Many women also have other conditions such as endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and urinary incontinence which may co-exist and delay the diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis.  The average woman with Interstitial Cystitis will see five health care Providers about her symptoms and have significant suffering for five years prior to being correctly diagnosed.  With treatment, many women can lead normal lives and be symptom free.     
     The first step to treatment is to speak with a health care Provider that specializes in the treatment of Interstitial Cystitis.  Most Providers who treat Interstitial Cystitis do so because they are passionate about helping women and are dedicated to taking the time to listen to patients.  Most often, these Providers are OB/GYN specialists or Urologists with a special interest in the treatment of Interstitial Cystitis. 
      Successful treatment has many modalities.  In office procedures, diet modifications, and medications help many women.  The articles below may be helpful in adding to your knowledge about Interstitial Cystitis.
      The most important bladder irritants to avoid are: SPICY FOODS, CITRUS, CAFFEINE, ALCOHOL, and TOMATOES.