Interstitial cystitis, also known as painful bladder syndrome, is a chronic bladder condition that can be uniquely frustrating for a number of reasons. While this disorder is not uncommon (up to 8 million women in the United States may have IC), effective treatment for interstitial cystitis can be difficult to find. Painful bladder syndrome can range in symptoms and severity, meaning that it is often misdiagnosed. Meanwhile, pain and discomfort caused by IC can cause disruptions to all aspects of your daily life, including your ability to enjoy healthy sex.

How does interstitial cystitis affect a person’s sexual function?

Painful sex is a common experience among people with IC, with most patients reporting pain either during or following penetrative sexual intercourse. Unfortunately, this can have a profound effect on relationships, causing feelings of shame, tension, or insecurity between patients and their partners.

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