Bladder pain

Bladder pain


Pelvic or bladder pain is a common complaint among women. Its nature and intensity may fluctuate. In some cases, no disease is evident. The pain can be categorized as either acute, meaning the pain is sudden and severe, or chronic, lasting over a period of months or longer. It may originate in genital or extragenital organs in and around the pelvis.


Three of the most common causes of bladder pain include:

Interstitial cystitis is a complex, chronic disorder characterized by an inflamed or irritated bladder wall. It can lead to scarring and stiffening of the bladder, decreased bladder capacity and bleeding. Symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Feelings of pressure, pain, and tenderness around the bladder, pelvis and perineum (the area between the anus and vagina)
  • Painful sexual intercourse

A urine sample and a cystoscopy may be needed to accurately diagnose the problem. A cystoscopy is a test that allows the doctor to look inside the filled bladder using a thin scope threaded through the urethra. Once a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan is created for the patient.

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Let's Talk About It: A free, interactive webinar on painful sex

Hear our experts discuss how some of the most frustrating and often life-altering forms of sexual pain are diagnosed and treated.