If you find yourself experiencing pain in your bladder, often felt while urinating, you shouldn’t accept that as normal. Pain while urinating is certainly indicative that something is amiss, with some causes being more serious than others. Your bladder is an important part of your body and should be monitored if it isn’t working properly.

Where Is Your Bladder?

Your bladder is a pear-shaped muscular sac in your pelvis, above and behind the pubic bone. It is connected to your kidneys, which is where urine is produced. The urine travels from the kidneys to your bladder, then exits your body through your urethra when you urinate. This should be a regular and pain-free occurrence for both men and women, and when pain occurs during urination or even a consistent pain in that area, you should consult with your healthcare provider.

What Are Possible Causes Of Bladder Pain?

There are a few probable culprits of bladder pain, some more serious than others. The following are the four most common issues that we see, along with what courses of treatment might be recommended if you’re experiencing one of them. These conditions include interstitial cystitis, urinary tract infections, bladder cancer, or kidney stones.

Interstitial Cystitis

Also referred to as bladder pain syndrome (BPS), it is a condition that is likely to affect you for the long term, and there is currently no cure. It may lie dormant for a period, then flare up from time to time. If you have interstitial cystitis, you might experience bladder pain and pressure, pelvic pain, difficult or painful urination, and frequent urination accompanied by an urgent need to do so. There are a number of different things that could cause your symptoms to flare up, but they differ by individual patients. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you should take note of circumstances surrounding your flare-ups to see if there is any consistency in them. These might include drinking coffee or citrus drinks, having sex, wearing tight clothes, being constipated, and doing pelvic floor exercises.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a result of a bacterial infection within the urethra, bladder, or kidneys and are more likely to occur in women than men. They present with a strong and frequent need to urinate, a burning sensation when doing so, cloudy or strong-smelling urine, and in some cases, nausea or muscle aches. This bacteria can be introduced in a number of ways, including through sexual intercourse, having kidney stones, being pregnant, going through menopause, having a urinary catheter, or through personal hygiene issues. Patients with diabetes, a suppressed immune system, heavy use of antibiotics, or those who are immobile for long periods are more susceptible to them. UTIs can be treated with antibiotics as well as drinking lots of fluids.

Bladder Cancer

Pain in the bladder doesn’t always accompany bladder cancer, but it is worth investigating if no other causes can be found. Bladder cancer usually presents with similar symptoms to a UTI, with the symptoms worsening as it becomes more advanced. More advanced stages of bladder cancer might also include lower back pain, inability to urinate, suppressed appetite, weight loss, and being weak and tired. Depending on the individual case and stage of cancer, treatment might include chemotherapy or radiation.

Kidney Stones

Lastly, pain may be a result of kidney stones. Kidney stones are a result of undissolved minerals in the urine. If the stone leaves the kidney, it can get stuck in the urethra, which can stop the flow of urine. Kidney stone pain is usually sudden, can come in waves, and is often sharp and cramping. They can cause difficult and painful urination, dark-colored urine, and nausea or vomiting. Depending on the size, there are medical or surgical options to get rid of the stones, but they can also resolve themselves over time.

When To See A Doctor 

If you’ve been experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it’s important to make an appointment to visit us as soon as you start experiencing them or if they are worsening. Our team of doctors can evaluate your symptoms as well as conduct physical exams to determine the cause of your bladder pain and how to move forward with treatment.