What Does It Mean When Your Bladder Hurts? Common Causes Of Bladder Pain

What Does It Mean When Your Bladder HurtsThere are many potential reasons why your bladder could be bothering you. The most common causes of bladder pain include interstitial cystitis, urinary tract infection and bladder cancer. 

The bladder is a hollow organ located in the lower abdomen responsible for storing bladder. As the bladder fills up with urine it causes bladder muscles to relax so that the organ can expand. When the muscles contract, urine is pushed out through the urethra.

Bladder pain usually requires medical diagnoses in order to start proper treatment for relief.

Most Common Causes Of Bladder Pain

Some of the most common causes of bladder pain include:

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): If you have painful burning during urination as well as bladder pain you could be suffering from a UTI. For the most part, the urinary tract is a sterile zone in the body, but if bacteria has a chance to sneak inside you are at risk for developing a UTI. Women are more likely than men to develop this condition.

Common signs of UTI include:

  • The constant need to pee
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Cloudy, bloody or bad smelling urine
  • Low-grade fever

In order to diagnose a UTI a doctor will run a urine sample through the lab to see if bacteria are present. In most cases it simply takes an antibiotic to cure a urinary tract infection. Within a day or two of taking the antibiotic your symptoms should subside. Always take your antibiotics until they are gone to prevent a UTI from coming back stronger.

Interstitial Cystitis: Bladder pain could be caused by inflammation of the bladder that leads to ulceration and bleeding of the bladder lining. Along with bladder pain one may experience frequent urination, pelvic pain and urinary urgency. Symptoms are similar to a UTI but tend to disappear only to reappear.   

This is a chronic condition that causes inflammation that stiffens the bladder wall. As a result it is difficult for your bladder to fully expand as it fills up and it may feel like you always have to go to the bathroom. When you do go only a small amount of urine may come out. Pain tends to be worse when the bladder is full and decreases after releasing your bladder. 

Women are more likely to suffer from interstitial cystitis than men. It is often diagnosed by simply ruling out other potential conditions that display similar symptoms, such as: urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, cancer and kidney stones. Tests used to diagnose this condition include urine samples, cystoscopy, an ultrasound or CT scan.

There are numerous treatment options, including medications, surgery, dietary changes, nerve stimulation, and bladder distention as well as bladder instillation. Only a doctor will know the best form of treatment for you.

Bladder Cancer: Cancer can develop in the bladder. The most common type of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma, which originates in your innermost layer of tissues lining the bladder. 

Along with bladder pain, the most common symptoms of bladder cancer include:

  • Blood present in urination
  • Painful urination
  • Difficulty going to the bathroom
  • Frequent and urgent desire to urinate
  • Pain in the lower back

A number of tests can be used to diagnose bladder cancer including a Cystoscopy, which includes inserting a lighted tube into the bladder. During this test a biopsy can also be taken from the lining of the bladder to check for cancer in a lab. Imaging tests, urinalysis, and a urine cytology are other tests used to determine the presence of cancer in the bladder.

Treatment varies and may include removing the tumor or part of the bladder via surgery. Other treatment options are chemotherapy, intravesical therapy, or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation for patients that cannot undergo surgery.

Catheter Usage: If you regularly use a catheter to drain and collect urine it is common to experience bladder spasms as a side effect. 

Nerve Damage (Neurogenic Bladder): When you need to release your bladder your brain signals the bladder muscle to contract and release. But certain nervous system disorders can negatively impact the nerves responsible for sending these signals. As a result the bladder cannot function properly.

Some injuries and disorders capable of spurring on nervous system disorders with the potential to impact the bladder include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Herpes zoster
  • Brain tumor
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Brain damage resulting from a stroke
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Diabetic neuropathy, nerve damage caused by chronic diabetes

Bladder spasms may also be caused by a recent surgery or infection that caused nerve or muscle damage. In most cases, if a doctor is unable to diagnose the cause of bladder irritation or frequent bladder spasms the condition is known as idiopathic bladder spasms.

Visit Urgent Medical Center today to find out the cause of your bladder pain!

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