Interstitial cystitis is chronic inflammation of the wall of the bladder. Inflammation can cause scarring and/or pinpoint bleeding of the bladder wall. It can also lead to decreased space to hold urine.

The Bladder
The bladder
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Although the symptoms are similar to those of a bladder infection, there is usually no clear cause. Bacteria, fungi, and/or viruses are rarely found in the urine of people with interstitial cystitis. Possible causes include:

  • An autoimmune response that occurs following a bacterial infection of the bladder
  • A leaky inner lining of the bladder that allows irritating substances in the urine to come into contact with the bladder wall