Bladder pain

The urinary bladder is a hollow organ in the lower part of the abdomen where urine collects.

When the bladder is full, it expands because the muscles in the bladder walls relax.

As the bladder empties, the muscles contract until the urine is excreted through the urethra.


Causes of bladder and abdominal pain

The exact cause is not always known, but most scientists assume that an event can trigger the pain. Some triggering factors may include:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Overstretching of the bladder due to waiting too long before urinating
  • Nerve damage in or around the bladder area or spinal cord
  • Inflammation of the epididymis (or epididymitis) can cause testicular pain that radiates into the bladder
  • Pain in the ovary before the cycle can also manifest as pain in the bladder, which is located in front of the uterus
  • Problem due to surgery or physical injury

Interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic condition in which the bladder is inflamed and irritated.
The IC may be caused by a defect on the inner wall of the bladder.
Women are much more prone to this condition than men.

The main symptom is a sharp pain day and night.
The bladder hurts more when it is filled and less when it is emptied.

There may be back pain, abdominal pain or groin pain.
Sexual problems can be associated with interstitial cystitis.

An exacerbation of symptoms in interstitial cystitis can occur after eating certain foods or drinks (for example, coffee, alcoholic beverages, spicy foods), during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (14 to 28 days after the first day of the last bleeding), during periods of stress, after sports training and after sexual intercourse, or after sitting for a long time (for example, when traveling by plane).


Pregnancy in the last trimester of pregnancy
Even if the second trimester of pregnancy brings some relief from the bladder pressure, the last three months can again cause an increase in discomfort due to the growth of the child.
If the child moves, the unexpected shocks and movements of the fetus can exert sudden pressure on the bladder, which can lead to urination.

Frequent urination
The pressure on the bladder can stimulate frequent urination.
The bladder fills up more often due to other body fluids.
One can also confuse the pressure from the child with the feeling of a full bladder. When you go to the toilet, you realize that this was not necessary at all.
Bladder pressure and frequent urination can also be the symptom of a urinary tract infection, a common condition during pregnancy.

Urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infections can occur during pregnancy due to the changes in the urinary system.
The growth of the child can block the outflow of urine from the bladder, which can lead to infection.
Between the sixth and twenty-fourth weeks of pregnancy, there is an increased risk of a urinary tract infection.
In the event of an infection, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Burning sensation during and after urination
  • Blood loss or mucus in the urine
  • Soreness of the bladder area
  • Fever
  • Backache

To prevent this disease, one should urinate immediately after sexual intercourse.

Urinary Tract Symptoms Associated with Bladder Pain

Urinary bladder pain can occur along with other symptoms of the urinary system, including:

  • Bloody or pink colored urine (hematuria)
  • Turbid urine
  • Difficulty urinating (dysuria) and urinary retention
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Frequent micturition, in which often only a small amount of urine is excreted
  • Pain and burning sensation during micturition
  • Violent urge to urinate

Symptoms may vary from day to day.

Other possible concomitant symptoms of bladder pain

Bladder pain can occur along with symptoms tied to other male or female body organs, including:

  • Abdominal pain or abdominal cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Fever and chills
  • Pain in the lower back, groin, right or left flank
  • Feeling unwell or apathy
  • Night sweats
  • Redness, overheating or swelling (abdominal bloating)

Serious symptoms that may indicate a life-threatening illness

In some cases, bladder pain can be a symptom of a dangerous condition that needs to be clarified immediately. One should visit the emergency room of a clinic if any of these symptoms occur:

  • High fever (above 38 degrees)
  • Urinary retention
  • Constant vomiting
  • Intense abdominal pain

What are possible complications of bladder pain?

Possible complications of bladder pain depend on the cause.
Bladder pain related to a serious illness (such as cancer) can bring chronic complications that are even life-threatening.
In addition, bladder pain related to an acute bladder infection can lead to a more serious complication, such as a diffusely spread infection.

If left untreated, the conditions that cause bladder pain could cause the following complications:

  • Constant or chronic pain
  • Sepsis (a bacterial infection of the blood that can be fatal)
  • Prevalence of cancer

Diagnosis of bladder pain

Often, the diagnosis of interstitial cystitis is made by excluding other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as infections of the vagina and urinary tract.
There are diseases that can also cause pain in men, for example, kidney stones and bladder tumor.
Kidney stones cause pain, especially in the kidneys (right and left flank), which can radiate to the back, genitals and thighs.
The doctor will inquire about the pre-existing conditions and perform a physical examination.
He could ask the patient how often they need to go to the bathroom, if they feel an urge to urinate, and when the pain occurs.

The following examinations can be carried out:

  • Urine sample
  • After the bladder is filled with a liquid, the doctor inserts a long and narrow device (cystoscope) through the urethra to look at the inside of the bladder.
  • Echography or CT of the pelvis to rule out other conditions.

Treatment of bladder pain

Therapy can help relieve bladder pain symptoms and the urge to urinate, but it is often difficult to find the right one. Here are some therapy options:

What can you take? Medications for bladder pain
Medications used to treat interstitial cystitis include the antihistamine hydroxyzine (Atarax) and the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline from the group of tricyclic antidepressants (Laroxyl).
Sometimes medications are used for epilepsy, such as gabapentin (Neurontin) and topiramate (Topamax).
Other proven therapies include immunosuppressants such as Sandimmun, Optoral, and Imurek (azathioprine).

However, these drugs do not work for all patients and can take many months to have an effect.

Painkillers such as aspirin and paracetamol or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen (Aktra) can help with mild bladder pain.
Most often, prescription drugs are required for interstitial cystitis.

You should always consult your family doctor before trying therapy to make sure that there is nothing more serious behind it.
In the meantime, you can try the following things (you can use them comfortably and safely at home to relieve the pain):

  • Place a hot water bottle on the perineum (area between the anus and vagina).
  • Lie relaxed in a huddled position, legs pulled up to the chest.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day so that the urine is less concentrated and no longer causes irritation.

Some lifestyle changes can reduce pain.
Spicy foods, caffeinated drinks, alcohol and chocolate can aggravate the symptoms.
Smoking also causes an increase in bladder pain due to the harmful ingredients in cigarettes. Wearing wide skirts and trousers helps to make it more comfortable.

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