Burning Bladder and Bladder Pain: What Does it Mean and How to Find Relief
Are you suffering from burning bladder and bladder pain? Have you found yourself making a run for the restroom when you'd rather be enjoying a night out? Bladder Pain and burning aren't just irritating -- it could be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition.
Mississippi Urology believes in listening to our bodies. That means when something hurts, it's time to come in.
Don't ignore bladder pain and burning. Discomfort matters and no one should have to live with persistent irritation. We strive to empower patients in their personal healthcare journey by providing tools and resources to live our best lives. Keep a log of your symptoms to prepare for your urology appointment and review common causes of burning and bladder pain, as well as a few more serious health concerns that these symptoms may indicate.
Causes of Bladder Burning and Urinary Pain
A burning sensation when urinating or general bladder pain throughout the day can be caused by a variety of ailments ranging from common to more severe. We'll take a look at the most likely causes of bladder burning and pain before exploring other issues that may be detected early through similar symptoms.
As with any unexplained pain and discomfort, it's important to see your doctor to determine an exact diagnosis and decide upon the best course of treatment for your body.
Bladder Infections, UTI's, and Other Burning Questions
on Urinary Health
Infections are the most common culprit behind urinary pain and discomfort. General symptoms of a bladder infection include:
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Frequent urge to urinate (often only releasing a small amount of urine at a time)
- Cloudy urine, dark urine, or bloody urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain that primarily occurs just below the pubic bone
UTI's are the most common type of bladder infection and occur most frequently in women, although men are also at risk. You may be wondering "what is a UTI?" UTI stands for Urinary Tract Infection. This condition occurs when bacteria enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. While this may sound like a lot of medical jargon to digest, UTI's -- while irritating -- is quite common. In fact, around 50–60% of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime, with many patients suffering from recurrent infections. These unpleasant intruders can be caused by a number of factors from hormonal changes to sexual activity to low estrogen and diabetes. Additional UTI symptoms include fever, chills, and nausea.
If left untreated, a UTI can travel to the kidneys and become a kidney infection. Lower back pain is an indication that the infection is processing and requires immediate intervention. Kidney pain is often extremely severe and should not be ignored. Kidney stones may result from ongoing infection, causing additional discomfort for the patient.
Treatment of UTI's comes in the form of antibiotics designed to target the specific bacteria causing bladder burning and pain. If you find yourself suffering from recurrent UTI's, your urologist can help by developing a treatment and management program that's right for you.
Other common infections to be aware of include STI's or sexually transmitted infections. Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID can also result from an STI in female patients, causing inflammation and pain. Antibiotics are the best way to begin feeling relief. A sexual wellness evaluation is always a good, proactive step when it comes to feeling empowered in your personal healthcare.
Lastly, yeast infections can affect both men and women, although women are predominantly more at risk. Although the symptoms of a UTI and a yeast infection are distinct, they can sometimes mimic one another with itching, burning, and overall discomfort. This is why it's important to see your healthcare provider in order to determine the best course of treatment. While a UTI is best treated with antibiotics, a yeast infection requires oral or suppository antifungal medication.
Interstitial Cystitis or IC
One chronic bladder condition that often results in a burning bladder and pelvic pain is interstitial cystitis (IC). People with IC usually have inflamed or irritated bladder walls which can cause scarring and stiffening of the bladder. IC is a very generalized condition, equally affecting men and women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds.
Although the exact cause of IC is unknown, treatment options are available and include medication, physical therapy, and biofeedback, as well as self-care such as diet and lifestyle management.
When it comes to men's urinary health and wellness, burning bladder and pelvic pain can be an indication of an enlarged prostate. While this may sound alarming, an enlarged prostate can be cancerous or noncancerous. Many cases of enlarged prostate are noncancerous and treatment includes medications that relax the bladder or shrink the prostate, surgery, and minimally invasive surgery.
Of course, if a prostate tumor is identified, catching this type of cancer early is highly critical in ensuring a full recovery. The "C-word" can be scary, but it's important to know that a wealth of treatment options are available alongside a knowledgeable healthcare team. Prostate cancer treatment options include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone replacement. Because this is slow-moving cancer, many healthcare providers may opt to monitor the condition prior to assessing treatment options.
In some rare cases, pelvic pain and burning may indicate a more serious condition. Bladder cancer is fairly uncommon, however, it's important to pay attention to any signals your body is giving you that indicate something may be amiss. Your healthcare provider will utilize lab tests as well as ultrasound technology to identify both precancerous cells and tumors in the bladder.
If malignant cells or tumors are detected, it's vital to start treatment right away. Treatment options for bladder cancer typically include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and biotherapy. A knowledgeable treatment team will work alongside you on your journey and determine the best course of action for your ongoing health and wellness.
Of course, the best treatment for any bladder pain or discomfort is ongoing management of your urinary health. Come see us today and meet our caring urology team at Mississippi Urology.