Every September, IC/BPS patients and organizations around the world gather together to promote interstitial cystitis, bladder pain syndrome and chronic pelvic pain. This year, our campaign is bold and blunt, telling the story of patients who are refused pain treatment with, in some cases, tragic results. Despite decades of research showing that this medical condition is real and treatable, countless patients have been told that their pain was not real and/or “all in their heads.” Despite pain levels as severe as cancer and/or bladders so profoundly damaged that they are bleeding, they are sent home with no pain care other than an OTC product. This trend has become far more real with the passage of the CDC Guidelines for Chronic Pelvic Pain which has resulted in thousands of chronic pain patients forcibly removed from a treatment that they were not abusing, not misusing and showed no signs of addiction.

By her 24th birthday, Lisa Benshabat had been to more than ten specialists. Most doctors dismissed her reports of pain despite a diagnosis of IC that was confirmed by multiple specialists. They simply did not believe that she was suffering and, tragically, she took her life in January 2016. Her mother Gail Benshabat is a spokesperson for this years IC Awareness Month and will bring her story to the Budapest meeting of the European Society For the Study of BPS in late September. She said “What would bring a young woman or man to the bring of ending their life? It’s called the lack of hope. There was no collaboration between her medical care providers to ensure that her pain was controlled and that her emotional health was monitored.

This year, we ask patients to talk about their pain and struggles. By working together, we can not only educate medical providers that IC pain can be severe and that patients may require more intense pain treatment. We absolutely want to reach out to patients who are struggling with pain and give them the hope that they deserve, some treatment ideas and tips that they can use with their care providers as they discuss their pain needs.

What You Can Do To Help!

  1. Share YOUR IC story
  2. Nominate your favorite doctor & physical therapists for our annual award!
  3. Share Our Daily IC Facts
  4. Add IC Awareness Month To Your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
  5. Help Put Our IC Awareness Posters in Thousands of Doctor Offices
  6. Share Our IC Fact Sheets
  7. Send Our Press Release To Your Local Paper 
  8. Participate in Our Poster Contest
  9. Participate in our Meme Contest
  10. Participate in Our Twitter Contest – #myicpain
  11. Donate an IC Book To Your Local Library
  12. Start A Support Group
  13. Wear Your Pride with IC Awareness Bracelets & Car Magnets