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What’s the difference is between OAB & IC/BPS?

Nervous WreckIt’s easy to confuse the diagnoses of overactive bladder with interstitial cystitis. After all, both involve urinary frequency and urgency. Yet, there are clear differences between these two lower urinary tract disorders. The hallmark symptom of overactive bladder is urgency, often so sudden and intense that they can’t make it to the bathroom in time leading to episodes of incontinence. IC patients rarely struggle with incontinence. On the otherhand, most IC patients have some degree of discomfort and/or pain as their bladder fills with urine while OAB patients rarely have pain.

Symptom OAB IC/BPS
Urgency yes yes
Frequency yes yes
Nocturia yes yes
Bladder Pain no yes
Incontinence yes no


The ICN has kicked off a new Overactive Bladder Information Center to help patients learn more about the subtle yet important differences between these two key conditions! Learn more at: https://www.ic-network.com/conditions/overactive-bladder/

By |2017-01-31T13:31:02+00:00November 11th, 2013|ICN Announcements, Interstitial Cystitis Network Blog, Overactive Bladder|Comments Off on What’s the difference is between OAB & IC/BPS?

About the Author:

My Google Profile+ Jill Heidi Osborne is the president and founder of the Interstitial Cystitis Network, a health education company dedicated to interstitial cystitis, bladder pain syndrome and other pelvic pain disorders. As the editor and lead author of the ICN and the IC Optimist magazine, Jill is proud of the academic recognition that her website has achieved. The University of London rated the ICN as the top IC website for accuracy, credibility, readability and quality. (Int Urogynecol J - April 2013). Harvard Medical School rated both Medscape and the ICN as the top two websites dedicated to IC. (Urology - Sept 11). Jill currently serves on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Panel (US Army) where she collaborates with researchers to evaluate new IC research studies for possible funding. Jill has conducted and/or collaborates on a variety of IC research studies on new therapeutics, pain care, sexuality, the use of medical marijuana, menopause and the cost of treatments, shining a light on issues that influence patient quality of life. An IC support group leader and national spokesperson for the past 20 years, she has represented the IC community on radio, TV shows, at medical conferences. She has written hundreds of articles on IC and its related conditions. With a Bachelors Degree in Pharmacology and a Masters in Psychology, Jill was named Presidential Management Intern (aka Fellowship) while in graduate school. (She was unable to earn her PhD due to the onset of her IC.) She spends the majority of her time providing WELLNESS COACHING for patients in need and developing new, internet based educational and support tools for IC patients, including the “Living with IC” video series currently on YouTube and the ICN Food List smartphone app! Jill was diagnosed with IC at the age of 32 but first showed symptoms at the age of 12.