Do you find yourself having urgency, frequency, or pelvic pain and have seen multiple doctors with no answers?
Many times, a diagnosis of IC is delayed because symptoms can often mirror those of urinary tract infections, bladder infections and other common conditions. Doctors also tend to spend time ruling out other possible clinical causes of the pain and urinary frequency/urgency associated with IC.
A survey that went out to 416 patients showed an average of 1-5 years of recurring symptoms before an actual diagnosis. If you think you may have IC, getting the right diagnosis in a timely manner is crucial for your treatment and management.
What symptoms to look for:
The Pelvic Pain Urinary and Frequency (PUF) Questionnaire was developed by renowned urologists who have focused on diagnosing and treating IC patients over many years. The questionnaire is a self-reported interactive test that evaluates your symptoms and provides a risk assessment to having a positive potassium sensitivity test (PST), which has shown to be directly related to the association of IC.Many physicians have used this PUF questionnaire as a key tool in diagnosing patients with IC.
The potassium sensitivity test is an intravesical diagnostic tool that may be used to detect abnormalities in the bladder lining to confirm diagnosis of IC/PBS.
Because IC/PBS has been identified as a highly symptomatic condition, other tools you can use to help identify the condition before even seeing your physician include:
An important step to obtaining a proper diagnosis, is finding a physician who understands IC/PBS. You may be referred to a urologist to properly diagnose your condition. However, many gynecologists and OB/GYNs who have an interest in pelvic pain, may also provide a diagnosis. If you find yourself being referred to various physicians, it may be time to see an IC specialist. Click here to locate an IC specialist.