Bladder & Sphincter Pain

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Patients with painful bladder syndrome experience frequent urination.
Patients with painful bladder syndrome experience frequent urination.

Painful bladder syndrome is a common problem that can affect both men and women. Since the bladder is a sensitive organ, the pain can range from a slight inconvenience to debilitating. Bladder pain often causes frequent trips to the bathroom. While this problem can be embarrassing, it can usually be managed with proper treatment.

  1. Causes

    • Bladder pain can be caused by a variety of medical issues including urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, interstitial cystitis and bladder cancer. In some cases, the structural defects of a person's urinary system or yeast infections can also cause bladder pain. Bowel syndromes can also cause inflammation and spasms that affect the bladder along with the rectum.

    Diagnosis

    • Bladder pain caused by a urinary tract infection or sexually transmitted disease can be easy to diagnose. A simple urine culture taken by a gynecologist or primary care physician can detect these infections. When it comes to some of the more complex causes, a procedure called a cystoscopy is done by a urologist to look for abnormalities inside the bladder. Interstitial cystitis is a complex condition and often hard to diagnose. Many patients will visit several doctors before finding the root cause of their pain.

    Treatment Options

    • When urine tests positive for infection, antibiotics are given as a cure. When a diagnosis for a chronic illness such as interstitial cystitis is determined, long-term treatment plans can be mapped out. These treatments can include tricyclic antidepressants, pain killers, bladder distentions and surgery. Interstitial cystitis patients are also put on a special diet consisting of only bladder-friendly foods to help reduce inflammation.

    Living with Bladder Pain

    • Lifestyle changes can make living with bladder pain easier. Avoiding acidic foods is one way to reduce bladder irritation. Caffeine should also be avoided by people experiencing bladders problems. Learning techniques to relax, and reducing stress, can also promote bladder calmness. Bladder pain patients should give into the urge to urinate whenever they need to. Holding in urine to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom will only make bladder pain worse. Living a smoke-free lifestyle and engaging in regular exercise also promotes a healthy bladder.

    Warning

    • There are many over-the-counter products available at pharmacies that deal with bladder pain maintenance and diagnosis. These products include home urinary tract infection kits and cranberry pills. It is important to always make an appointment with a physician if you are experiencing abnormal bladder pain. Over-the-counter products only provide temporary solutions to bladder issues. Leaving bladder problems untreated by a professional can result in a serious illness going undiagnosed.

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