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Bladder pain

Bladder pain can have several causes, including:

Urinary tract infection (UTI): A bacterial infection can affect the bladder or ureters, urethra and kidneys. These infections are more common in women. Symptoms include pain or burning during urination, needing to urinate urgently, abdomen pain, cloudy or smelly urine, blood in urine and fever.

Interstitial cystitis (IC): The bladder wall becomes inflamed and irritated and is more common in women. Urination may be painful and more frequent. This condition is also called painful bladder syndrome or bladder pain syndrome.

Bladder cancer: Cancer may develop in the bladder lining or surrounding muscles or spread there from another part of the body. Symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in the urine, painful urination, frequent urination, urgent need to urinate and lower back pain.

Endometriosis: In rare cases, a woman's bladder can be affected by endometrial tissue causing pain. Symptoms include irritated bladder, bladder pain, urgent need to urinate and blood in urine.

Diagnosing bladder pain

A doctor will diagnose the cause of bladder pain based on the symptoms and the person's medical history. A physical examination may be carried out and tests may be arranged, including urine tests for any infections.

A doctor may need to rule out other conditions causing the bladder pain symptoms before making a diagnosis.

A cystoscopy - internal examination of the bladder with a special instrument - may be arranged.


Treatment will depend on the cause of the bladder pain and a referral to a urologist or other specialist may be recommended.

Infections will usually be treated with a course of antibiotics.

Seek medical advice if you have bladder pain so that the cause can be investigated and treated promptly.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on September 08, 2016

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