Bladder Pain

Bladder Pain
Bladder pain is common, but it's not healthy. Bladder pain indicates a medical problem, and it should be treated right away. Dr. Chung and Jackie Shriver of Alliance for Women’s Health offer comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services to women suffering from bladder pain. If you live in the greater Lima, Ohio, area and are experiencing bladder pain, call or make an appointment online.

Bladder Pain Q & A

Alliance for Women's Health Inc

What conditions cause bladder pain?

Dr. Chung is a urogynecology specialist who takes a holistic approach to providing care. He understands that because a woman’s bladder, uterus, pelvis, and reproductive muscle tissue are all connected, her symptoms are likely caused by complex interactions between these symptoms.

Your bladder is a small, hollow organ in your lower abdomen that expands to hold urine. When your body is ready to evacuate that urine, muscles in your bladder contract to squeeze the urine into and through your urethra.

The bladder consists of an intricate bundle of nerves, which can cause radiating or referred pain to the surrounding pelvic organs. That could easily be misdiagnosed as female reproductive pain.

Urination should never be a painful experience. If you're suffering from bladder pain, you likely have a medical issue that needs treatment. Common causes of bladder pain include:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Interstitial cystitis (IC)
  • Bladder cancer

Each of these conditions has a distinct treatment approach. The first step in addressing the problem is seeking comprehensive diagnostic services.

What is interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that negatively impacts your bladder. Your bladder may become irritated and inflamed, and the bladder wall can stiffen. That can make it difficult for your bladder to fully expand as it fills with urine, which can lead to pain.

Interstitial cystitis is caused by a defect in the lining of the bladder and affects women at a much higher rate than men.

Symptoms include pain that worsens when your bladder is full and eases after urination. Pain can also extend to your lower back, groin, or abdomen. You may need to urinate more frequently than normal and have difficulty passing more than a small amount of urine.

Dr. Chung takes the time to speak with you about the full range of your symptoms in order to reach the proper diagnosis. For example, lower back pain often indicates an underlying gynecological or urological issue that may cause no other symptoms.

How is interstitial cystitis treated?

Treatment options include the use of certain medications, including pain relievers, immunosuppressive medications, antihistamines, and even some antidepressants.

Some women respond well to a procedure known as bladder instillation. It involves using a thin catheter to fill your bladder with a blend of liquid medications that reduce inflammation. After a brief period, you can release the medications through urination.

Another treatment for IC involves distending your bladder with fluid while you are under anesthesia. Doing so stretches the walls of your bladder, allowing you to store more urine between bathroom visits and altering the way your nerves transmit pain signals to your brain.

Are there self-care techniques that can help with bladder pain?

If you’re experiencing bladder pain, it’s essential to seek medical care to determine the exact cause of the problem. Severe conditions, including bladder cancer, can cause pain and require immediate medical intervention.

If Dr. Chung determines that your bladder pain isn’t caused by cancer or another serious medical issue, there may be certain self-care techniques you can try to gain relief. These include:

  • Avoiding certain foods that can worsen bladder pain
  • Keeping a written record of bathroom visits and increasing the time between trips
  • Certain pelvic floor exercises
  • Stress management efforts

There’s nothing wrong with trying to address bladder pain through these methods. However, if pain persists, it’s important to schedule a follow-up appointment to work with Dr. Chung to find a more effective treatment path.

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