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What Causes Bladder Pain?

Bladder pain may be caused by a number of conditions, including a urinary tract infection.
A urine sample can be used to detect a bladder infection.
Several forms of cancer may result in pain in the bladder.
The human urinary tract, including the bladder in pink at the bottom.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 December 2014
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There are several conditions that are associated with bladder pain. Most of these require medical care. If people are experiencing bladder discomfort, they should seek medical advice and treatment.

Several forms of cancer can result in pain in the bladder. Direct cancer of the bladder can have other symptoms associated with it, including pain during urination, blood in the urine, urine that is much darker in color, and frequent need to urinate. These symptoms alone don’t necessarily mean a person has bladder cancer, but they are certainly indications of illness in the urinary tract.

Cancer of the vagina can also have bladder pain as one its symptoms. Other indications of this cancer can include pain during intercourse or bleeding thereafter, abnormal bleeding at other times, pain in the pelvis, and sometimes an appreciable lump in the vagina. Usually vaginal cancer isn’t symptomatic at first and it may never cause pain in the bladder unless the cancer spreads to the bladder.

A more common cause of bladder pain is urinary tract infection (UTI), which can also produce changes in urine color, difficulty urinating, and a feeling of fullness in the bladder. Sometimes these infections are “silent” and don’t have any symptoms until they worsen significantly. In one specific form of UTI, cystitis, the bladder becomes inflamed and may make pain worsen. Cystitis is a common UTI and very frequently can be resolved with antibiotic treatment, if it results from bacterial infection.

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Interstitial cystitis is usually not the result of bacterial infection, and it is a disease that continues to mystify doctors. It can result in mild to severe pain, and also cause feelings of fullness, frequent need to urinate, and pain in the pelvis. In men this condition may create discomfort in the scrotum in addition to pain in the bladder.

One possible cause of bladder pain that occurs most often in men is urethral stricture. The urethra may become inflamed or be injured in such a way that it becomes narrower. Other symptoms associated with urethral stricture are difficulty passing urine, and a burning sensation or pain during urination.

Some yeast infections like torulopsis may progress to painful bladder symptoms. The fungus involved naturally occurs in many parts of the body, but in people who have lower immunity, the yeast may cause numerous painful symptoms and affect bladder functioning. Other bladder pain causes include direct injury to the bladder, surgery performed on it, or in some cases pain is associated with very full bladders that cannot properly empty. For instance women who have been through childbirth with an epidural may note great discomfort and might require catheterization to empty a very full bladder, if a cath was not in place during the labor and delivery.

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Discuss this Article

anon941825
Post 11

I have had bladder pain, really severe now, for nearly two years. I have had urine samples done a few times but there is no infection. My doctor then just looks at me and tells me there's no infection. I think she thinks I am a hypochondriac, but this is really awful.

I pee so frequently, even during the night, that it feels like I am peeing acid sometimes. The pain is not just when I need to urinate. It sometimes feels like a sharp object being forced up inside me and when I sit down feels like the object is being pushed further inside. I have had my womb checked but it is clear. The last time I visited the doctor, she shrugged her shoulders and said to keep an eye out for blood in my stools!

lighth0se33
Post 10
@Perdido – Yes, it can. I've been in that situation before, and it gets really uncomfortable.

It causes me to have cramps. Sometimes, the pain is so bad that I think that something more serious is wrong.

After I stop to pee, it slowly gets better. My bladder takes a while to recover from the strain, but I still feel relieved.

Perdido
Post 9

Can holding your pee cause bladder pain? My friend and I went on a road trip a month ago, and there weren't many restrooms along the way. She said that she had to go so badly that it hurt.

seag47
Post 8

@Kristee – You can drink plenty of water and cranberry juice. Water helps flush toxins and bacteria out of your system, and cranberry juice is acidic, so it keeps the bacteria from clinging to your bladder.

I once had bladder and kidney pain, because I had let my urinary tract infection go on for too long and it had traveled to my kidneys. This was much more serious, yet it could have been prevented.

Now, I drink several bottles of water a day. I also drink at least one glass of cranberry juice to prevent infections. So far, it's working.

If you hate the taste of cranberry juice, you can take cranberry extract supplements instead. You just swallow two a day with water, and they do the same thing that the juice does.

Kristee
Post 7

Bladder infection pain always happens to me in the form of cramps. They are like the cramps I get with my period, but they are down lower.

I just got over a urinary tract infection. I felt like I had to pee every half hour, and I also felt really queasy.

I knew that I should not be passing that much urine, because I hadn't been drinking any more than usual. The cramps alerted me that something must be wrong.

My doctor gave me antibiotics to treat the infection. I'm just wondering how I can prevent bladder infections in the future. Does anyone know?

anon179134
Post 6

i have had pain in my bladder for six years. i have seen a doctor and in scans, the problem is not there, but i have pain.

anon150866
Post 5

i felt pain in my bladder last night and went to the hospital. he gave me an injection and a tablet and it stopped within two minutes but i feel pain in urethra and sometimes in my bladder. what is this indication.

anon117227
Post 4

@Planch: I suffer with severe bladder pain. My gyno uro did a scope and said it was kind of bloody inside but believes part of the lining was missing. Ma be due to when my uterus dropped it pulled part of my bladder's lining. It may also be due to acid. My doctor put me on a low acid diet, gives me muscle relaxer suppositories to put in my girl and about two times a week I catheterize myself and administer bladder shots made up of three medicines.

I still have bladder pain when I sit but my spasms and urge to urinate every two minutes is gone. I get sleep at night again but I have to be faithful about my treatment. When I let up the other symptoms come back. As far as the pain we have tried all kinds of meds to block pain messages but so far the only thing that takes the edge off is just old fashioned pain killers.

My uterus was taken out and every now and then estrogen cream helps too. It plumps the tissue back up and helps with dryness. I will pray we both find an answer. God bless!

lightning88
Post 3

One of the most common causes of bladder pain, particularly when coupled with pressure, is cystitis.

It often presents as a frequent urge to urinate, along with bladder pressure and pain.

Luckily, it is very treatable, so if you are experiencing bladder pain symptoms, particularly with accompanying pressure, you should see your doctor at once -- you don't have to just suffer through it.

zenmaster
Post 2

@Planch -- Are you sure it's coming from your bladder, and not simply a burning sensation when you pass urine?

In that case, it could be a urinary tract infection, which is often associated with burning and bladder pain.

Other possible causes of burning and bladder pain are bladder cysts, or a reaction from a catheter.

If you haven't recently had a catheter (which I'm assuming is correct, or you would have mentioned it) then I would put my money on a UTI.

In any case, you should contact your doctor to have him take a look and see what's going on. He should even be able to give you some bladder pain treatment.

Planch
Post 1

What would be a cause of burning bladder pain in a woman?

I have been having burning bladder pain on and off for a while now and am looking for answers.

Does anybody have any advice?

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