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Schistosomiasis and the IC connection

Schistosomiasis and the Interstitial Cystitis (IC) connection

Currently I am conducting a study in the U.K. of a group of IC diagnosed women and their spouses. We have not finished collecting all the data yet but so far there are a good percentage of the women are testing positive for schistosomiasis along with their spouses.

Here is an example of what most have to say about the cause of IC:

Some possible causes include:

• defects in the lining of the urinary bladder that cause irritation.

• bladder trauma or overstretching.

• pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.

• autoimmune disorders.

• primary neurogenic inflammation.

• spinal cord trauma.

• genetics.

• allergy.

Doctors today have no true understanding on what the cause of IC is. To me it only makes sense, eggs migrating through the bladder wall or lodged in it would certainly cause irritation. During the schistosomiasis haematobium cycle the female worm makes her way to the lower part of the blood vessels sounding the bladder to lay her eggs. Once the eggs are released they migrate their way through the vessel wall through the bladder wall into the bladder where they wait to be expelled. This process most certainly causes inflammation and pain for the host causing they symptoms that are misdiagnosed as IC.

With schistosomiasis now being documented as an STD you can clearly see the relation to IC and how it is being passed from partner to partner.

Here are some of the symptoms of schistosomiasis haematobium:

  • The classic sign of urogenital schistosomiasis is haematuria (blood in urine). 
  • Fibrosis of the bladder and ureter, and kidney damage are sometimes diagnosed in advanced cases. 
  • Bladder cancer is another possible complication in the later stages. 
  • In women, urogenital schistosomiasis may present with genital lesions, vaginal bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse, and nodules in the vulva. 
  • In men, urogenital schistosomiasis can induce pathology of the seminal vesicles, prostate, and other organs.

Here are some of the symptoms of IC:


• Bladder pressure and pain that gets worse as your bladder fills up.

• Pain in your lower tummy, lower back, pelvis, or urethra (the tube that carries pee from your bladder out of your body)

• For women, pain in the vulva, vagina, or the area behind the vagina

• For men, pain in the scrotum, testicles,penis, or the area behind the scrotum

• The need to pee often (more than the normal 7-8 times daily)

• The feeling you need to pee right now, even right after you go

• For women, pain during sex

• For men, pain duringorgasmor after sex

As you can clearly see the symptoms are eerily similar between schistosomiasis and interstitial cystitis. Where we go from here is hard to say? More work needs to be done in order to bring this to light and hopefully I have found the cause but most importantly the cure.