When Should I See a Doctor About a Painful Bladder?

As a woman, you may be familiar with the sensations that accompany urinary tract infections (UTIs). Women are affected more often than men, and prompt treatment is key to both relieving the painful symptoms as well as preventing complications from the infection spreading to the kidneys and beyond.

However, UTIs aren’t the only cause of bladder pain or discomfort. Other conditions can cause similar symptoms, some of which again affect women than men. Understanding these less common conditions can help you make sound decisions about your health care. Contact Southeast Urogyn any time bladder pain concerns you or interferes with your daily life.

Identifying bladder pain

Your bladder is a storage vessel for urine, expanding and contracting as needed. Symptoms besides bladder pain may give clues as to the origins of the problem, but since both mild and serious conditions share symptoms, any unusual pain or discomfort should be investigated.

Symptoms of UTIs

The bacterial infections that affect your urinary tract are perhaps the most common causes of bladder pain. Along with this pelvic pain, you may experience a range of other symptoms. These can include:

Upon a diagnosis, antibiotics are typically prescribed. Further tests and treatments may be necessary if your UTIs become chronic. Depending on the severity of your pain, you may also be prescribed medication to address the pain as the antibiotics start to work.

Interstitial cystitis

Also called painful bladder syndrome, interstitial cystitis causes chronic urinary pain. A condition that primarily affects women, the cause of the condition is unknown, though certain factors seem to trigger its symptoms.

Many of the symptoms of interstitial cystitis are similar to those created by UTIs. In addition, you may note:

Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is one source of bladder pain that affects men more often than women, and usually men age 55 and older. If you’re a smoker, then your risk of bladder cancer is up to three times higher, no matter which gender you are.

The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine that’s not associated with pain or discomfort. Usually, there are no other symptoms, but when there are, bladder cancer shares most of its symptoms with interstitial cystitis, so it’s common to run further tests to establish the origin.

Bladder pain isn’t something you should live with. Whenever you experience discomfort, pain, or other symptoms of urinary tract problems, contact the experts at Southeast Urogyn. Call the office to arrange your exam today.

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