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Bladder pain

Pain in the bladder is usually due to a specific problem like an infection or sometimes a stone, however sometimes there is no obvious explanation.


Where there is no obvious explanation and the pain persists, it is then referred to as Painful Bladder Syndrome. Usually this is felt as pain low down in the abdomen over the bladder and is associated with a frequent need to urinate to try to alleviate the discomfort. It can be exacerbated by certain foods or drinks and can be affected by other things such as constipation, cyclical hormone changes and sexual activity. This condition used to be referred to as Interstitial Cystitis and there are various theories as to why it might occur but no-one really knows for sure why some people develop it. It us more common in women but can affect men in 10% of cases.


The first thing a urologist will do is to exclude a specific cause for the pain usually by performing various tests and scans. They will normally need to examine the lining of the bladder with a telescope – a procedure known as a cystoscopy. If the bladder lining looks very inflamed or abnormal then a biopsy may be taken to examine under the microscope.


Treatment usually starts with medication eg. Cimetidine or amitriptyline. If this does not work than bladder instillation therapy may be used. There have been a wide variety of substances used to treat bladder pain including DMSO (RIMSO), heparin and, most commonly nowadays, Cystistat or Ialuril.

Danny Swallow

Martin Nuttall

Karan Wadhwa

Bill McAllister

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