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What can cause bladder pain and how to treat

Bladder pain usually indicates urinary tract infection, some irritation caused by cysts or stones but it can also be caused by an inflammation in the uterus or intestine. So to know what is causing this pain you should check if there are other symptoms such as blood in the urine, pain while urinating, fever or vaginal or penile discharge, for example.

Treatment should always be indicated by a general practitioner but a gynecologist or urologist may also indicate the causes and the most appropriate treatment for the situation.

What can cause bladder pain and how to treat

The main causes and treatments for bladder pain are:

1. Urinary tract infection

A urinary tract infection can affect the bladder, urethra or, if it is a severe infection, the kidneys, being the most frequent cause of bladder pain. Usually, it is accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the pelvis or bladder when urinating;
  • A great desire to urinate, but is only released small quantities;
  • Urgency to urinate;
  • Presence of blood in the urine;
  • Pain in the urethra or bladder during intercourse;
  • Low fever.

Although it is more common in women, it can also occur in men of all ages. In the presence of symptoms of urinary tract infection, a urologist or gynecologist should be sought, but if you can't get an appointment soon, it is necessary to go to the emergency room for an evaluation with consists in observing your intimate region and urine examination. Learn more about how to identify the symptoms of a urinary tract infection

How to treat: If an infection is confirmed, your doctor may advise you to use antibiotics, such as Norfloxacin, Sulfa, or Phosfomycin, for example. Painkiller remedies, such as Paracetamol, or anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen, can be used to relieve pain and discomfort. In addition, during recovery, it is important to drink about 2 liters of water a day and maintain good intimate hygiene. Cranberry tea is a great home remedy that helps to fight this infection naturally.

2. Interstitial cystitis 

Also known as painful bladder syndrome. It consists of an inflammation or irritation of the bladder wall, the cause is unknown and can occur in both men and women. This syndrome can also cause signs and symptoms such as:

  • Bladder pain;
  • Burning or pain during urination;
  • Difficulty urinating;
  • Pain during intercourse;
  • Willing to urinate several times a day and at night.

These symptoms may have periods of improvement and periods where symptoms worsen, and it is common for them to be confused with urinary tract infection, which causes the person to receive repeated antibiotic treatments unnecessarily, therefore, one should think of this disease whenever there are persistent and recurring symptoms.

In some people, these symptoms may appear or exacerbate with the consumption of substances like cigarette, coffee, alcohol, black tea, acidic foods or psychological causes.

How to treat: Painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to relieve symptoms, and it is important to treat the causes of stress and anxiety with psychotherapy or alternative therapies such as meditation and avoid the use of substances that trigger crisis. 

3. Neurogenic bladder

The neurogenic bladder is a dysfunction in the ability to relax and contract the bladder and urinary tract, caused by neurological diseases, which cause urinary incontinence, a feeling of incomplete emptying of the urine and, in many cases, pain in the belly.

It can be hypoactive, in which the bladder can not contract voluntarily, and accumulates urine, or hyperactive, in which the bladder contracts easily, causing urgency to urinate at inappropriate times, being more common in women.

How to treat: The neurogenic bladder is treated according to the cause and symptoms reported by each person, and may require physical therapy, use of medication such as oxybutynin or tolterodine, bladder catheter passing or, in some cases, surgical procedure .

4. Bladder inflammation

Bladder pain may be caused by some type of inflammation in this organ which may be triggered by conditions such as:

  • Bladder endometriosis, caused by the implantation of uterine tissue in the bladder, which causes chronic and intense pain, worsening in the premenstrual period;
  • Use of medications, such as some chemotherapy drugs, which can cause irritation of the bladder tissue;
  • Use of a bladder catheter for a long time;
  • Immunity causes, in which there is a self-aggression of bladder cells;
  • Bladder cancer, which causes lesions in the region.

For men, changes in the prostate, can be a major cause of pain in this region due to inflammation, infection or tumor in this organ.

How to treat: Inflammation of the bladder should be treated according to its cause. The symptoms should be relieved with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, and then discuss with your doctor about treatment options, such as surgical procedures or remedies.

5. Kidney stone

The stone can settle in any region of the urinary tract, and can be in the kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra. It can cause pain when moving or impacting on a region of the urinary tract, which is usually very strong, and may be associated with blood in the urine and nausea.

How to treat: The urologist will indicate the appropriate treatment, according to the size and location of the stone, and may be with observation or surgery. It is important to maintain yourself hydrated by drinking about 2 liters of water a day to facilitate the expulsion of the stone and to reduce possible complications in the kidneys. See some home remedies for kidney stones.

What can cause bladder pain and how to treat

Can bladder pain be due to pregnancy?

Generally bladder pain does not indicate pregnancy. However, every pregnant woman has a greater tendency to develop urinary tract infection at this stage, so it is common to associate bladder pain with pregnancy. However, urinary infections in pregnancy do not usually occur before the woman discovers that she is pregnant and is a later change.

When the pregnant women feel bladder pain, it is a symptom due to body changes that the woman suffers during this period, which is more common at the end of the gestation, mainly due to the pressure that the uterus which is growing does on the organs of the pelvis .

In addition, due to increased production of the hormone progesterone, the bladder becomes more relaxed and may contain more urine, which together with the weight of the uterus on the bladder can cause discomfort when urinating or bladder pain during the day. By having a more protein-rich urine the pregnant woman is also more willing to develop a urinary infection and thus feel pain in the bladder.

How to treat: To decrease or avoid bladder pain during pregnancy, pregnant women should drink plenty of water, wear comfortable cotton clothing, maintain good hygiene of the intimate area and get enough rest during the day to avoid stress.

Other Causes of Bladder Pain

Inflammation of the organs of the pelvis region may cause abdominal pain and radiate to other areas and may give the sensation of bladder pain. Some of the main causes are:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease, caused by infections in the vagina and uterus;
  • Endometriosis of other organs of the pelvis, such as fallopian tubes, ovaries, intestine and peritoneum;
  • Bowel diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome;
  • Abdominal cramps, caused by menstruation or pregnancy;
  • Inflammation of muscles or joints of the pelvis.

These causes will be investigated in case of bladder pain if no other cause for the pain is found, such as infection, calculus or inflammation, and the diagnosis can be made by a urologist or gynecologist.

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