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: