The first-ever National Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Day was observed on October 31 this year. The event was sponsored by the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) to draw attention to a frequently misdiagnosed and misunderstood pelvic condition. Interstitial Cystitis (IC), a painful and frequently debilitating chronic illness, is often incorrectly diagnosed as endometriosis, overactive bladder or recurrent urinary tract infection.
In conjunction with its announcement of the first “awareness day,” NPWH also released the results of its first survey of IC patients — results highlighting the frustration and despair many women experience in attempting to have their IC correctly diagnosed and treated. Ninety-five percent of the survey respondents reported feeling frustrated, 85% reported feeling annoyed or angered, 75% reported feeling depressed, and 67% reported feelings of isolation and embarassment.
IC is often misdiagnosed by physicians, the group reports, because its symptoms are initially mistaken for those of better-known urologic disorders. A primary goal of National Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Day is to elevate awareness of IC, to help prevent misdiagnosis.
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