All visitors are required to wear masks.

For COVID-19 safety, all visitors to ChristianaCare facilities and services are required to wear masks. This includes visitors who are vaccinated. Please read our visitor guidelines before arrival.

Masks required at outpatient locations; visitors and support persons limited

All visitors at outpatient locations must be masked in alignment with the masking guidelines on our visitation policy page here. Patients at ChristianaCare’s outpatient services are advised to come to their appointments alone unless a support person is absolutely needed. If a support person is needed, such as a parent, guardian or spokesperson, we highly encourage that the support person be vaccinated. Outpatient practices are not requiring vaccination or a negative COVID test for visitors at this time.

All hospital visitors required to be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test.

  • Inpatients in our Christiana, Wilmington and Union hospitals may have one visitor daily between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. The visitor must be 16 or older.
  • Patients having outpatient surgery may have one support person accompany them. Support persons must be 16 or older.
  • All visitors and surgical support people must show proof of vaccination OR a negative COVID-19 test within the prior 72 hours.

Before visiting, click here for more details about visitation.

Visit or for local vaccination and testing sites.

Interstitial Cystitis

Manage the symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis
Lifestyle changes, medication can help

Persistent bladder or pelvic pain and an urgent need to urinate can be the signs of a urinary-tract infection. If no bacteria are present, however, you might have interstitial cystitis (IC)—also known as Bladder Pain Syndrome—a distressing condition that affects 3 to 8 million women in the United States, according to the Interstitial Cystitis Association.

Some people with IC experience periodic flare-ups. Others have persistent pain and need to urinate up to 60 times a day.

By visiting your health care provider, you can learn how to best manage your symptoms.

What are the symptoms of interstitial cystitis?

Along with the frequent urge to urinate, symptoms include:

  • Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen, urethra, the vulva or vagina.
  • Symptoms that worsen after consuming certain foods or beverages, such as spicy meals or caffeinated sodas.
  • Pain during or after sex.

Stress, trauma, surgery and diet can trigger the symptoms.

What are the causes of interstitial cystitis?

The cause right now is unknown. IC might be part of a syndrome with multiple conditions, much like fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome.

How is interstitial cystitis diagnosed?

Presently, there no lab tests to diagnose IC. Your health care provider will make the diagnosis after ruling out other potential health conditions, and when you’ve had IC symptoms that persist for at least six weeks without an apparent underlying cause, such as a urinary-tract infection.

If you have blood in your urine, your doctor might do a cystoscopy. During the procedure, the doctor inserts a small camera through the urethra and into the bladder to look for any abnormalities.

A cystoscopy with hydrodistention, performed while you’re under anesthesia, examines the bladder through a cystoscope and stretches the bladder to help alleviate some of your symptoms.

Your doctor can see if you have pinpoint-sized red marks on the bladder wall, also called glomerulations or petechial hemorrhages, or Hunner’s ulcers, which are areas of inflammation on the bladder wall. Both have been linked to IC.

What is the treatment for interstitial cystitis?

You can make several behavior modifications, including:

  • Watching your diet. Avoid foods and beverages that irritate the bladder, such as coffee, artificial sweeteners, hot peppers and alcohol. Cranberry juice, which many people drink to prevent recurrent urinary-tract infections, can exacerbate IC symptoms.
  • Reducing stress. Consider yoga or meditation.
  • Undergoing physical therapy. You can do Kegel exercises on your own or seek a specialist in manipulative pelvic floor physical therapy, which can benefit people with pelvic floor dysfunction.

Medication that addresses the symptoms of IC includes:

  • Urinary analgesics to calm a sensitive bladder.
  • Elmiron to improve the lining of the bladder. (Tell your doctor if you are anticoagulants or high doses of anti-inflammatory drugs.)
  • Antihistamines, which can reduce inflammation in the bladder wall.
  • Bladder instillations. During an in-office procedure, your health care provider will use a catheter to deliver liquid directly into the bladder. You will need to come at least once a week for seven straight weeks in the office. More instillations might be required.

More advanced options are available if preliminary treatment is unsuccessful.

You may need one or more of these treatments, depending on your symptoms. To help you and your health care provider find the most effective mix, please review the American Urological Association’s clinical guidelines for IC.

For more information about interstitial cystitis, visit: