Current guidelines in the management of interstitial cystitis
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a heterogeneous chronic disease of unknown etiology that impacts a very large number of women. Symptoms are highly variable: patients may suffer from pelvic pain that is exacerbated by bladder filling, and can be associated with a variety of lower urinary tract symptoms including frequency and urgency. Given the varying presentations and severities of corresponding treatment must be tailored to each specific patient. Current American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines separate the IC treatment recommendations into six tiers of increasing invasive therapies. These treatment guidelines begin with education and lifestyle modifications and progress through levels of physical, pharmacological, and ultimately surgical therapies for those that fail the less invasive therapies. The purpose of this review is to outline the recommendations for the treatment of IC and the evidence from which these recommendations arise. Furthermore, we examine the most up to date literature so that we may recognize future directions in the treatment of IC.