Bladder Pain

Bladder pain is a symptom. It is not indicative of any particular problem or disorder by itself. In fact, most of the time, bladder pain is caused by something benign that simply goes away on its own over time. Additionally, even though we may feel pain in the general area where our bladder is located, it doesn't mean that the pain is necessarily coming from the bladder itself. Our bodies are so complex that the pain could be caused by a very large number of other factors affecting our bodies.

Possible Causes of Bladder Pain

Although, as we just discussed, pain in the general area of the bladder does not necessarily mean that there is a problem at all. Even if there is a problem, pain in the general area of the bladder does not necessarily mean that the problem is with the bladder itself. Now that you understand this distinction, we can discuss the possible problems that can occur with the bladder that maybe cause the symptom of bladder pain as a warning of something that may be going wrong in your body.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Some of the most common bladder problems are urinary tract infections. There are many different types of UTIs and they are caused by a number of different and often preventable factors. A very common cause of urinary tract infections is simply not emptying your bladder for too long. When you let the urine sit in your bladder, all the waste materials have time to mix and the bacteria that your body is trying to remove gets a chance to multiply and sometimes cause infections. Luckily, UTIs are mostly easily cured with proper medications.

Interstitial Cystitis (IC)

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic condition that causes the bladder to be inflamed and irritated. This condition causes the bladder to be less flexible when getting filled with urine. A healthy bladder expands and becomes smaller naturally as it becomes full with urine. When the outside wall of the bladder becomes stiff due to Interstitial Cystitis, when the bladder needs to expand, it begins to cause pain, especially during a time of heavy inflammation.

One way you can tell that the cause of the pain is from the bladder and not another organ or something else, is that the pain may be usually accompanied by pain in nearby areas like the lower back, abdomen, or perineal area. Interstitial Cystitis patients also tend to urinate more frequently as they feel the need to urinate much sooner due to the discomfort which is called Micturition - the feeling of the urge to urinate.

Bladder Cancer and Bladder Pain

Cancer can form in the bladder. The most common type of bladder cancer is Transitional Cell Ccarcinoma. Transitional Cell Carcinoma begins in the inner layer of tissue lining the bladder. These cancers are classified as either Papillary tumors which have a wart-like appearance, or the Nonpapillary tumors which are less common but more invasive and have a worse outcome.

Some of the common symptoms of bladder cancers are blood in the urine which is called hematuria, back pain, especially in the lower back region, painful urination, and an increase in the frequency of urination.

Diagnosing Bladder Pain

In order to make a proper diagnosis, a healthcare professional may ask you about your family history and your personal health and drug use history. That will enable them to see if you may be prone to certain types of problems more than others. Typically, after understanding the patient's medical history and lifestyle, a doctor may order urine tests called urinalysis that will tell the balances of a number of chemical and nutrients in your body. Too many or too little of certain chemicals may indicate a possible problem.

After simple urinalysis, a doctor may suggest you undergo some blood or imaging tests to further understand what is happening with your body and what may be causing the pain in your bladder area. Some of the common tests that may be done are:

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