After Initial Treatment
Most patients need to continue treatment indefinitely or the symptoms return. Some patients have flare-ups of symptoms even while on treatment. In some patients the symptoms gradually improve and even disappear.
Some patients do not respond to any IC/BPS therapy. However, with pain management, they can still have significant improvement in quality of life. Pain management can include other drugs, acupuncture, and other non-drug therapies. Professional pain management may often be helpful in more severe cases.
Although most patients will find that their symptoms improve as they are treated for IC, not all patients will become fully symptom-free. Many patients still have to pass urine more often than normal, or will have some degree of persistent discomfort and/or have to avoid certain foods or activities that make symptoms worse.
Can IC/BPS Be Cured?
It is possible for IC/BPS symptoms to come back even if the disease has been in remission for a long time. It is not known what causes a recurrence. Also, there is no known guaranteed way to prevent recurrences. Patients can try to prevent the return of symptoms by:
staying on their medical treatments even after remission
avoiding certain foods that may irritate the bladder
avoiding certain activities or stresses that may make IC/BPS worse.
The specific foods or activities that affect IC/BPS are different for different patients, and so each person has to form his/her own individual plan.