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  • Writer's pictureNicole Cozean

Is it Interstitial Cystitis (IC) or Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD)?

One of the most common questions we get asked is whether your symptoms are truly IC or are they pelvic floor dysfunction.

It’s important to know that ‘IC’ is a description of symptoms. It just means you’re experiencing pain you perceive to be coming from the bladder and urinary urgency/frequency. But it tells us nothing about the ‘why’ of your symptoms or what treatments to try.

Finding Pelvic Sanity Podcast: Is it Interstitial Cystitis (IC) or Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD)?

Finding Pelvic Sanity Group - Have you joined Finding Pelvic Sanity yet? It's a totally free, supportive online group of 5,000+ members dealing with pelvic floor dysfunction. It's moderated by the team at PelvicSanity, so you'll know you're getting great information a positive environment. Make sure to join here


It’s also important to realize that IC is not a bladder condition. It’s a pelvic pain condition. More than 90% of people diagnosed with IC have no discernable problem with their bladder.

Even those who do have Hunner’s lesions are not ‘cured’ when those are removed. Among those diagnosed with IC, nearly 90% have confirmed pelvic floor dysfunction. And at PelvicSanity, we’ve literally never seen someone with IC symptoms who didn’t have a pelvic floor component.

It’s often down to your physician whether you get an IC diagnosis. Some urologists don’t like saying ‘IC’ to patients because it leads them down the bladder-centric road of Elmiron, instillations and focusing on the ‘IC diet’.

Others are more liberal with the diagnosis and use it for any patient who has the symptoms that qualify.

Ultimately, if you’re diagnosed with IC many - if not all - of your symptoms are likely coming from the pelvic floor. So there’s a huge overlap between these terms. It makes sense to focus less on the label and more on finding the practitioners who can help!

Finding Pelvic Sanity Podcast: Is it Interstitial Cystitis (IC) or Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD)?

As Nicole said in the full 'sode of the podcast on this topic...

"Among those diagnosed with IC, nearly 90% have confirmed pelvic floor dysfunction" -Nicole Cozean, Pelvic Sanity

If you've been diagnosed with IC (or suspect you may have it), we have a full-length online course with all of the information you need to understand the diagnosis and formulate your plan for recovery. You can find The IC Roadmap course here (!

If you’re dealing with pelvic health issues, make sure you join our free FB support group (Finding Pelvic Sanity), follow us for more information on Instagram (@pelvicsanity) and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify for wherever you get your podcasts!


Who are we at PelvicSanity?

At PelvicSanity, it's our mission to support patients with pelvic pain and pelvic floor symptoms, regardless of where you live. We can help with:

- In-person treatment for those in Southern California at the PelvicSanity clinic

- Immersive Out-of-Town program for those able to travel

- Remote Consultations to get you expert 1:1 help, advice and an action plan

- Online patient courses on Interstitial Cystitis and Movement for Pelvic Health

- A Facebook support group for patients called Finding Pelvic Sanity.


Nicole Cozean

Dr. Nicole Cozean is the founder of PelvicSanity Physical Therapy in Orange County, CA. PelvicSanity treats patients from all over the world with remote consultations and the Immersive Out of Town Program. She also runs Pelvic PT Rising, training other pelvic PTs to better serve patients.

Named Physical Therapist of the Year, Dr. Nicole is author of the award-winning book The Interstitial Cystitis Solution and the first PT to serve on the ICA Board of Directors, Her passion is helping those with pelvic health issues - regardless of where they live - find lasting relief.

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