How is Interstitial Cystitis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis (IC) can be challenging because it can have similar symptoms to other conditions such as urinary tract infections, bladder infections, and endometriosis. A thorough medical evaluation is needed to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other probable causes of the symptoms.

Here are some diagnostic tests and exams that may be used to diagnose IC:

  1. Pelvic Exam: A physical examination of the pelvic area can help to identify any signs of inflammation or tenderness in the bladder or pelvic area.
  2. Urinalysis: A urinalysis can help to detect any signs of inflammation, infection, or blood in the urine.
  3. Cystoscopy: This is a procedure in which a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end is inserted through the urethra to examine the bladder and urethra.
  4. Bladder hydrodistention: This procedure involves filling the bladder with water while under general anesthesia in order to stretch the bladder and identify any areas of inflammation or ulceration.
  5. Potassium Sensitivity Test (PST): This test involves instilling potassium chloride solution in the bladder and measuring the patient's pain response.
  6. Urine Cytology: This test looks at the cells in the urine to detect any abnormal cells that may be caused by IC.

It's important to note that the diagnosis of IC can be a process, and it's important to work with a healthcare provider who is familiar with the condition to determine the most appropriate diagnostic plan for you.

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