DAVID GIFFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID GIFFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Interstitial cystitis. Conceptual image of a naked woman with an inflamed bladder (lower centre) caused by interstitial cystitis. Stress may play a role in this condition, resulting in a chain of events involving the hypothalamus (large lit up structure of the brain) and the pituitary gland (smaller structure below it) that lead to muscular tension. With chronic stress, the muscular ring that controls the expulsion of urine from the bladder may be permanently contracted, making urination difficult. The bladder's inner wall may then become inflamed due to the increased pressure it is under as urine is forced out. This causes pain and a frequent urge to urinate.
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