Soap opera icon Melody Thomas Scott, who plays Nikki Newman on The Young and The Restless, publicly reveals her six-year battle with interstitial cystitis or IC, a painful bladder condition as a part of "All About IC," a new educational campaign. IC is a common cause of chronic pelvic pain yet is often overlooked and frequently misdiagnosed because its symptoms are often mistaken for other urologic and gynecologic disorders, such as endometriosis, recurrent urinary tract infections and overactive bladder.

"I spent years in pain and saw many doctors, several of whom even suggested that the pain could be psychological," said Melody Thomas Scott. "I had never heard of IC, yet I had all the hallmark symptoms - the chronic pelvic pain plus increasingly frequent, urgent and oftentimes painful trips to the bathroom."

Chronic Pelvic Pain and IC: Hard to Diagnose

Due in part to misinterpreted symptoms and misdiagnoses, it can take four years or more from symptom onset - and many visits to multiple physicians - to achieve a correct diagnosis. Melody's pain became unbearable, leaving her frustrated, depressed and affecting her work and personal relationships. Melody is not alone. Recent guidelines from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology state that IC is a common disorder causing chronic pelvic pain, which affects about nine million women. Many of these women may suffer from IC, a medical condition in which the bladder lining becomes inflamed.

"My story is sadly typical of the painful and frustrating experience shared by other patients with IC," said Melody. "I want women to know that there is help and treatment available."

After her diagnosis, Melody was successfully treated with diet and a number of treatments, including the prescription medication ELMIRON? (pentosan polysulfate sodium), the only oral drug approved by the FDA for relief of bladder pain or discomfort associated with IC. "Shortly after beginning treatment with ELMIRON? my symptoms diminished gradually and I felt so relieved," Melody recalls. "I don't have the chronic pelvic pain or urinary symptoms that I used to have." Today, she lives virtually symptom-free; however, individual results may vary.

IC also has been traditionally difficult to detect because of low awareness and because there are few diagnostic tools for the disease. Clinicians have developed a simple questionnaire, called the Pelvic Pain and Urgency/Frequency Questionnaire, to help screen for IC. The questionnaire plus free educational materials are available online at

"Chronic pelvic pain often goes unresolved because we focus on gynecologic causes; bladder conditions such as IC are often overlooked," says Donnica L. Moore, M.D., president, Sapphire Women's Health Group. "With this simple questionnaire, patients can help their doctors assess their symptoms and see if IC might be a cause. The results of the questionnaire, along with a physical examination and appropriate tests, can help doctors achieve a correct diagnosis and can help patients get effective treatment."

The "All About IC" educational campaign is being conducted on behalf of Ortho Women's Health and Urology, a division of Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.

About ELMIRON? (pentosan polysulfate sodium)

ELMIRON? is indicated for the relief of bladder pain or discomfort associated with interstitial cystitis. While the mechanism of action is not fully understood, ELMIRON? is thought to adhere to and help reinforce the bladder's protective layer and may act as a buffer, preventing irritating fluids from reaching the urinary tract lining. Scientific studies showed that ELMIRON? relieves bladder pain in 61 percent of IC patients who took ELMIRON? for three months. Even more patients can experience relief by six months. Relief is gradual. The clinical value and risks of continued treatment in patients whose pain has not improved by six months is not known.

Important Safety Information

ELMIRON? has been shown to be well tolerated. The most common side effects were blood in stool, diarrhea, nausea, hair loss, headache, rash, upset stomach, abdominal pain, liver function abnormalities and dizziness. When side effects did occur, they were generally mild and usually did not interfere with continuing treatment. Hair loss, when it occurred, was almost always limited to a single area of the scalp, and grew back when ELMIRON? was discontinued. ELMIRON? is a weak anticoagulant (blood thinner) which may increase bleeding. Call your doctor if you will be undergoing surgery or will begin taking anticoagulant therapy such as warfarin, heparin, high doses of aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. For full Prescribing Information, go to

About Ortho Urology and Women's Health

Ortho Women's Health & Urology, a division of Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., has a proven track record of leadership in the fields of women's health and urology and is committed to providing patients with products that help them to live healthier lives. Ortho Women's Health, a trusted partner of health care professionals, is committed to bringing women the most advanced options in contraception. Ortho Urology has a history of clinical expertise in the area of urology and is focused on meeting the specific needs of health care professionals and patients with products such as ELMIRON?.