What Are the Basics of Painful Bladder Syndrome?

What is painful bladder syndrome?

Painful bladder syndrome, also known as interstitial cystitis, refers to a condition that causes recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder. It can occur at any age, but adults, especially adult women, are more likely to develop it.

What are the symptoms of painful bladder syndrome?

The symptoms of painful bladder syndrome vary from case to case. People may experience:

  • mild discomfort
  • pressure
  • tenderness
  • intense pain in the bladder and pelvic area.

Symptoms may also include:

  • an urgent need to urinate (urgency)
  • a frequent need to urinate (frequency)
  • a combination of these symptoms

Pain may change in intensity as the bladder fills with urine or as it empties. Women’s symptoms often get worse during menstruation. They may sometimes experience pain with vaginal intercourse.

What causes painful bladder syndrome?

The exact cause of painful bladder syndrome is unknown, but it’s likely that many factors contribute.

For instance, people with painful bladder syndrome may also have a defect in the protective lining (epithelium) of the bladder. A leak in the epithelium may allow toxic substances in urine to irritate your bladder wall. Other possible but unproven contributing factors include an autoimmune reaction, heredity, infection or allergy.

In addition, according to reports, some people start to have symptoms when they

  • have sex.
  • have allergies.
  • have a Pap smear.
  • have a menstrual cycle.
  • have a urinary tract infection.
  • skip meals or are dehydrated.
  • wear tight pants and undergarments.
  • stand for long periods of time.
  • use certain brands of toilet paper.
  • urinate or hold urine for too long.
  • feel changes in the seasons or the weather.
  • go through sudden or bumpy movements.
  • take antidepressants , sinus medicines, or pain relievers.
  • take certain medicines or forget to take their medicines.
  • do certain physical activities, like pushing or lifting heavy objects.
  • feel stressed, or have certain emotions, such as anger or sadness.
  • use laundry detergents with certain chemicals or are in pool water with certain chemicals.

How to diagnose painful bladder syndrome?

In order to diagnose painful bladder syndrome, your doctor may start with asking your symptoms and medical history, and then you may be required to do some other exams, including:

  • A pelvic exam to check pelvic floor muscle. (for women)
  • A digital rectal exam to check prostate. (for men)
  • Urinalysis and urine culture to check white and red blood cells and bacteria in the urine.
  • Cystoscopy look inside the urethra and bladder.

What are the treatments for painful bladder syndrome?

Treatments for painful bladder syndrome can be different according to the severity of disease, your overall health and your preference.

In general, common treatments include:

  • bladder training
  • bowel training
  • physical therapy
  • medicines
  • bladder surgeries

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.