Approach

Because signs and symptoms mimic those of other urinary disorders, and because no definitive tests exist to identify the disease, physicians must exclude other conditions before considering a diagnosis.[17][1]

Diagnosis depends on the existence of a complex of symptoms, including frequency, urgency, and bladder pain, without any other definitive cause.[10] Physicians must carefully consider all patients with chronic pelvic pain as potential interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) candidates.

Cystoscopy is the most important diagnostic test for assessing a patient with co-existing haematuria, as urothelial carcinoma can present with similar symptomatology. Urinalysis with culture and microscopy, vaginal wet prep, and thorough pelvic examination assessing the pelvic floor are useful in ruling out other diagnoses. Newer tests are emerging but are currently in the research phase.

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