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Urology. 2019 Apr;126:24-33. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2019.01.012. Epub 2019 Jan 22.

Management of Symptom Flares and Patient-reported Flare Triggers in Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome (IC/BPS)-Findings From One Site of the MAPP Research Network.

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Division of Urologic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO; Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO. Electronic address:
Division of Urologic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO.
Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO.



To document patient-reported interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) flare management strategies and triggers.


Twenty-four male and 29 female participants enrolled at the Washington University site of the MAPP Research Network completed a questionnaire on strategies they utilized to manage flares and factors they believed triggered their flares (eg, specific food items, physical activities, sexual activities, infections, and stress). Participants were also asked about the diurnal timing of their flares.


A total of 96.2% of participants reported having ever experienced a symptom flare. Participants treated or managed their flares using a wide variety of strategies, ranging from common strategies, such as drinking additional water or fluid (74.5%), to less common strategies, such as acupuncture/acupressure (5.9% of participants). Participants also reported a wide range of perceived flare triggers, including previously reported factors (citrus fruits, tomatoes, spicy food, alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, driving/sitting in forms of transportation, urinary tract infections, stress, and tight clothing), as well as some less common, previously undocumented factors (eg, certain foods, nongenitourinary infections, wearing high-heeled shoes/boots or perfume, hair dye, and toothpaste). In general, female participants and those with somatic sensory hypersensitivity reported greater numbers of therapies and triggers. Finally, flares were reported most commonly in the afternoon or evening.


IC/BPS participants reported diverse flare management strategies and numerous perceived triggers. These findings, together with those from the small body of literature to date, provide a wide array of candidates and hypotheses for future global and tailored flare management and prevention interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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