The symptoms of PBS/IC often occur in episodes of increased intensity, known as “flares,” followed by periods of remission. In severe cases, urinary frequency can occur more than 60 times a day during flares. Some foods and beverages, as well as tobacco, tend to make the symptoms worse. Women suffering from PBS/IC may also suffer from additional pelvic pain due to spasms of the pelvic floor muscles, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, migraines, asthma, environmental allergies, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, endometriosis, vulvodynia and anxiety disorders.
There is no test for the diagnosis of PBS/IC. Testing is done to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms of PBS/IC such as bladder cancer, urinary stones, sexually transmitted diseases, or other gynecological problems.