Millions of Men, Women & Children Suffer From IC

Prevalence Studies

IC/BPS affects millions of men and women around the world. In the USA alone, the impact of IC is profound. Two RAND prevalence studies (1,2) found that:

3.2 to 7.9 million women
(2.7 to 6.5% of all women)

1 to 4 million men* have symptoms of IC

*Researchers suspect that many more men may have IC but have been incorrectly diagnosed with chronic prostatitis.

What else have we learned about IC?

Quite a few epidemiological studies have been done over the years.(3-7) They have found that:

  • An estimated 79% of IC patients may struggle with IBS.
  • The average age of onset for IC is 40 years, with 25% of patients under the age of 30. A late deterioration of symptoms is unusual.
  • Up to 50% of patients experience spontaneous remissions probably unrelated to treatment, with a duration ranging from 1 to 80 months.
  • Patients with IC are 10 to 12 times more likely to report childhood bladder problems.
  • Patients with IC are twice as likely report a history of urinary tract infection; however, over half of all IC patients report fewer than one such infection per year before the onset of IC. 50% of IC patients have pain while riding in car.
  • 63% of IC patients are unable to work full time.
  • IC patients have suicidal thoughts 3-4 times above the national average.
  • The quality of life of IC patients is worse than patients experiencing chronic renal failure and undergoing dialysis.
  • 52% of women with IC reported panic attacks and over 30% reported depression.
  • IC patients pay twice as much out of pocket for direct medical care when compared with someone without the condition.