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Glossary of terms: B  
 
Bacterium (plural: bacteria): A microscopic organism composed of a single cell. Many bacteria – but not all – cause disease.  
Bacteriuria Bacteria in the urine. Asymptomatic bacteriuria is a significant number of bacteria in the urine present in the urine of a person without symptoms. In a person with symptoms, bacteriuria will be described as a urinary tract infection (UTI).  
Bartholin’s glands Two glands situated to the left and right of the entrance to the vagina. They secrete mucus to provide lubrication, particularly during sexual arousal so as to facilitate sexual activity. Also called vulvovaginal glands.  
B cells White blood cells crucial to the immune defences. Also known as B lymphocytes. They are derived from bone marrow and develop into plasma cells which are the source of antibodies.  
BCG Bacillus Calmette-Guérin is a vaccine used for tuberculosis that stimulates the immune system and may have an effect on the bladder.  
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) Non-malignant growth of cells in the prostate gland. This overgrowth of cells results in benign prostatic hypertrophy which is the enlargement of the prostate gland itself.
 
Benign prostatic obstruction (BPO) A non-malignant enlargement of the prostate gland that may restrict the flow of urine from the bladder. Defined by the International Continence Society (ICS) as “a form of bladder outlet obstruction and may be diagnosed when the cause of outlet obstruction is known to be benign prostatic enlargement, due to histologic benign prostatic hyperplasia”.  
Bilharzias Also known as schistosomiasis, an infestation caused by parasitic trematode flatworms also called flukes or schistosomes. There are five major species and it is Schistosomiasis haematobium which affects the urinary tract (kidneys, ureters and bladder) and is mainly transmitted by Bulinus snails.
 
Biofeedback A treatment technique which involves measuring a patient’s bodily processes such as blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension etc. and conveying such information to the patients in real-time in order to raise his or her awareness and conscious control of the related physiological activities. Biofeedback can improve pelvic muscles and consequently bladder control by locating the right muscles that need exercising by means of a vaginal electrode.  
Biomarker (or marker) A biomarker is a physiological substance that may indicate the presence of a specific disease or condition and which can be used as a diagnostic urinary or blood test. A reliable biomarker could potentially revolutionize the diagnosis of IC. A number of potential biomarkers, including antiproliferative factor, some cytokines and other growth factors, are being studied as potential diagnostic tools. Finding a marker for IC might make it possible to develop an early test for IC. It could also lead to new targeted molecular therapies for the condition.  
Biopsy The removal of a sample of tissue or cells from the body for testing or examination under a microscope to assist in diagnosis and to exclude other diseases, including bladder cancer. For PBS/IC, samples of the bladder and urethra may be removed during a cystoscopy under some form of anaesthesia.  
Biotechnology The development of techniques to apply biological processes and manipulate living organisms to solve problems or make useful products in the field of medicine, food science and agriculture.  
Bladder augmentation An operation performed to increase the size of the bladder and improve its capacity to stretch in patients whose bladder has become too small to hold a normal amount of urine. The top of the bladder is opened up and a section of bowel stitched on top to enlarge it. Following bladder augmentation, the bladder may not be able to expel urine by itself. The patient may have to learn to self-catheterize regularly in order to empty the bladder.  
Bladder capacity A patient’s maximum bladder capacity – the maximum amount of liquid the bladder can hold – may be tested by the doctor. This procedure must be performed under anaesthesia since without anaesthesia the bladder capacity is limited by pain or an intense urge to urinate.  
Bladder neck The point where an area of bladder muscle meets the urethra. Bladder neck muscles respond to signals from the brain. They contract to keep urine inside the bladder and relax to allow urine to leave the bladder. They also prevent the reflux of semen into the bladder during ejaculation.  
Bladder training Exercises particularly for people with an urgent, frequent need to urinate or urine leakage, aimed at retraining the bladder and changing urinary habits. The purpose is to improve bladder control and increase the amount of urine the bladder can hold without urgency or leakage. It teaches people to hold on longer between visits to the toilet.  
Bladder sensation Fullness of the bladder as perceived during cystometry.  
Bladder surface mucin A thin layer that serves to protect the surface of the bladder wall. It is believed to act as a defence mechanism against toxic chemicals in the urine and to prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall.  
Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) A waste product in the blood that comes from the breakdown of food protein. The kidneys filter blood to remove urea. As kidney function decreases, the BUN level increases.
 
B-lymphocyte (B cell) A white blood cell that makes antibodies.  
Brand name Commercial or proprietary name of a drug.  
   
   
       
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