Welcome to the ICN! You are NOT alone
If you’re like most patients, it has probably taken months or years before you received a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis or bladder pain syndrome. You may have believed, incorrectly, that you were suffering from repeated bladder infections and/or may have taken antibiotics for years with little success. The great news is that IC is real and treatable. The bad news? Many medical care providers are unaware of current research and treatment guidelines.
The most successful patients (or parents of IC patients) are those who are active, informed and involved. Our goal is to educate and empower you with the latest information and resources. Our site will help you understand what IC is, how to work with your medical team, the many treatment options available and, perhaps most importantly, those critical and easy self-help strategies that can done at home each day to reduce symptoms. We’ve built a large self-help area on this website because it works. In fact, the American Urology Association (AUA) specifically encourages patients to explore the many self-help strategies available in Step 1 of their IC Treatment Guidelines
As a support group leader, I’ve noticed that the patients who often struggle are passive. They have no idea what treatments they’ve tried. They refuse to follow the diet, thus causing daily bladder irritation. They’ve never read a book about IC. They don’t track their treatments. They often live in a world of denial. You DO have the power to make change and promote healing of your bladder. Please take a few minutes to read through these materials. Even if you’ve had IC for several years, much has changed about the way we look at IC and its treatment. By the end, you may be more informed than your medical care team and that’s not a bad thing! – Jill Osborne, MA – ICN President & Founder – Revised: June 3, 2013 Created: 1995
- What Is IC/BPS/HBS? – Learn the IC basics, what the symptoms are, how it’s diagnosed and suspected causes.
- Finding a Medical Care Provider – Learn how to find doctors who are skilled and compassionate towards IC and pelvic pain.
- Exploring Treatments – Confused about treatments? We outline the six step treatment protocol that works!
- Self Help Strategies – Learn the common, day to day, self-help tips that can help reduce symptoms and prevent flares.
- Diet – Diet modification is one of the first things that every patient must learn to avoid IC flares and pain.
- Flares – Learn the different types of flares and what you can do to treat them.
- Support Center – Feeling alone? You aren’t! Meet others and ask questions today in the ICN Support Center & Support Forum
- Romance & Intimacy – Learn some great tips to help strengthen your intimate relationships in the face of pelvic pain.
- Pain Resource Center – Learn the best pain management tips we have to offer.
- Pregnancy Resource Center – Considering pregnancy? Thousands of patients have had successful pregnancies. Learn more here!
- Living with IC Video Series – Watch our latest videos about IC on flares, diet, traveling, holidays, preparing for doctors visits, family struggles and more!
- IC Patient Stories – Learn from other patients and read their journey’s in our IC patient story area.
- Men’s IC Resource Center – Resources unique to the men with interstitial cystitis.
- Senior IC Resource Center – Over the age of 50 and newly diagnosed with IC/BPS? Here are some resources that can help.
- Children’s IC Resource Center – Children face special challenges. Read our best tips and strategies here!
Essential Readings & Resources
- IC Optimist Magazine – Your way to stay informed of the latest news. The IC Optimist is dedicated to you, the IC patient. It provides feature stories on IC, the latest news and research, self-help ideas and strategies, new, flavorful recipes and more! Please support our work by becoming an IC Subscriber today!
- Wellness Coaching – If you’re newly diagnosed and have a lot of questions, sign up for an ICN Wellness Coaching session to talk with some of the best IC advocates in the world. We can help you learn about diagnosis, treatment options, the tricky IC diet and, of course, learning to manage and prevent the dreaded IC flares!
- Newly Diagnosed Kit – We’ve put together a kit of our favorite recommended IC resources! The best books written on IC to help you understand flares, therapies, self help and diet. Also includes a medical records kit to track your appointments, sample heating pads, and more!
- The Best Books About IC/BPS
- Books about the IC Diet
- Books About Pelvic Floor Dysfunction & Pelvic Pain
- OTC Supplements – Prelief, Azo, Cystoprotek, CystaQ, Desert Harvest Aloe