Bladder pain is defined as the pain that emanates from the urinary bladder. The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen. It stores urine, the liquid waste produced by the kidney, which passes into the bladder through a tube called a urethra.
Pain can also be felt in the abdomen, above the pubic bone, genitals, lower back and anus.
Conditions and Causes
There are a number of health conditions that might be a cause of bladder pain. Here we briefly explain each one of them.
A) Bladder infection
A bladder infection or urinary tract infection is one of the most common causes of bladder pain. The following signs might indicate the presence of a bladder infection:
• Feelings of pain, pressure and tenderness around the bladder, pelvis, perineum, especially aggravated when the bladder is full
• Decreased bladder capacity
• Urgent and frequent need to urinate
• Pain on sexual intercourse
• In men, discomfort or pain in the penis and scrotum
B) Interstitial Cystitis
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is an inflammation of the bladder, which can occur by itself or in conjunction with other autoimmune diseases such as fibromyalgia, scleroderma, lupus or Sjogren’s Syndrome.
Main symptoms include bladder spasms, bladder frequency, low bladder capacity and incontinence.
Cystinuria is an inherited disorder of the transport of an amino acid called cystine resulting in cystinuria and the formation of cystine stones.
Prostatitis, a common condition in men, is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Inflammation causes swelling of the gland and can cause local pain. The prostate is a small organ about the size of a walnut. It lies below the bladder in front of the rectum and surrounds the tube that carries urine from the bladder.
E) Bladder cancer
Cancer of the bladder is also found to be a cause of severe bladder pain in some cases.
Some of the other conditions associated with bladder pain include urethral stricture and vagina cancer.
Research indicates that the bladder has only a limited number of responses to pain. Hence, it can only communicate this discomfort to the brain by producing a feeling of needing to urinate.
In addition, research also suggests that in cases where most of the bladder has been removed, for quite a majority of the patients the pain still does not decrease. The fact that chronic pain is neuropathic in nature might explain the finding.
Several steps can be taken for relief from pain associated to the bladder. Here we briefly list each one of them:
• Drugs such as Tegratol or Neurontin
• Diagnosis by a urologist
• Tens (Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation)
A series of home care strategies might provide a short term relief from bladder pain. Here we list a few main amongst them:
• Heat and cold therapy
• Appropriate rest and exercises
• Distraction from pain
• Consumption of fluids