4. Restroom Visits Cause Burning
While urinating, or afterward, people with IC can experience urethral pain. There is no official explanation for the burning sensation, but some say issues with pelvic floor muscles could irritate the muscles and nerves controlling how urine passes. Others mention that the lining of the bladder or urethra gets damaged, thus letting in toxins that hurt as they pass.
3. You Leak Before You Get There
Nearly half of IC patients experience incontinence, even if seldomly. A reason this occurs is that with an urgent need to urinate, the bladder spasms. With a weakened pelvic floor, it can be difficult to hold urine in. Pressure caused by coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting a heavy object can cause IC patients to leak.
2. Sex Has Become Painful
Pain during sex is a classic symptom of pelvic floor dysfunction. Some women with IC experience pain in the vagina, bladder, or urethra–sometimes all three–after having sex. The pain can last for several days. Men are also prone to experience pain in the testicles, penis, urethra, or bladder, either during erection or ejaculation.
1. Your Pelvis Is in Pain
Since pelvic floor muscles are overactive or tight for people with IC, they can also experience pelvic pain. The pain can be felt in the perineum or rectum, or women’s vaginas and men’s penises or scrotums.
Nicole Cozean, PT, DPT, WCS, CSCS, founded the PelvicSanity clinic in Laguna Hills, California, that provides physical therapy to people with pelvic pain. Cozean is also on the board of directors of the Interstitial Cystitis Association. Jesse Cozean, MBA, is a medical researcher and author who designed and oversaw clinical trials of drugs. They are both authors of the book The Interstitial Cystitis Solution.Related: Pee Smelling Odd?