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Conditions that Occur with Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Interstitial cystitis, PMS & Dysmenorrhea


Updated October 01, 2013

Interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is caused by inflammation of the bladder wall. It can be painful and frequently is misdiagnosed as a urinary tract infection. Most people have IC for about 4 years before they're diagnosed correctly. Women are 10 times more likely than men to develop IC. Symptoms include urinary frequency, urgency and discomfort; pain during intercourse; and pelvic pain. Relief from IC is difficult as well, generally requiring a lot of trial and error before the right combination of therapies and life-style changes is found.

Pre-menstrual syndrome/Primary dysmenorrhea

Women with FMS or ME/CFS frequently report more problems with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and dysmenorrhea (especially painful periods). PMS symptoms can include:

  • Headache
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating and gas
  • Backache
  • Swollen ankles, feet and hands
  • Mood swings

Typically, you'll have PMS during the week before a period.

With dysmenorrhea, painful cramps kick in about the time your period starts and generally last 1 to 3 days. Cramps can be either sharp and intermittent or dull and achy.

Dysmenorrhea comes in two varieties -- primary and secondary. The primary version is the one that occurs alongside FMS and ME/CFS, and it is not caused by any identifiable problems. Secondary dysmenorrhea can be caused by infection, ovarian cyst and endometriosis. If you have dysmenorrhea that starts after your teenage years, you should talk to your doctor about testing for an underlying cause.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “CFS Toolkit for Health Care Professionals: Diagnosing CFS”

2005-2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. “Pain Management: Myofascial Pain Syndrome (Muscle Pain)”

2005-2007 American Academy of Family Physicians. All rights reserved. “Dysmenorrhea: Painful Menstrual Periods”

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