What causes Bladder pain?

Home / Bladder Medically Reviewed by Edith Anderson, RN

There are several conditions that are associated with bladder pain. Most of these require medical care. If people are experiencing bladder discomfort, they should seek medical advice and treatment.

Several forms of cancer can result in pain in the bladder. Direct cancer of the bladder can have other symptoms associated with it, including pain during urination, blood in the urine, urine that is much darker in color, and frequent need to urinate. These symptoms alone don't necessarily mean a person has bladder cancer, but they are certainly indications of illness in the urinary tract.

Cancer of the vagina can also have bladder pain as one its symptoms. Other indications of this cancer can include pain during intercourse or bleeding thereafter, abnormal bleeding at other times, pain in the pelvis, and sometimes an appreciable lump in the vagina. Usually vaginal cancer isn't symptomatic at first and it may never cause bladder pain unless the cancer spreads to the bladder.

A more common cause of bladder pain is urinary tract infection (UTI), which can also produce changes in urine color, difficulty urinating, and a feeling of fullness in the bladder. Sometimes these infections are silent and don't have any symptoms until they worsen significantly. In one specific form of UTI, cystitis, the bladder becomes inflamed and may make pain worsen. Cystitis is a common UTI and very frequently can be resolved with antibiotic treatment, if it results from bacterial infection.

Interstitial cystitis is usually not the result of bacterial infection, and it is a disease that continues to mystify doctors. It can result in mild to severe bladder pain, and also cause feelings of fullness, frequent need to urinate, and pain in the pelvis. In men this condition may create discomfort in the scrotum in addition to pain in the bladder.

One possible cause of bladder pain that occurs most often in men is urethral stricture. The urethra may become inflamed or be injured in such a way that it becomes narrower. Other symptoms associated with urethral stricture are difficulty passing urine, and a burning sensation or pain during urination.

Some yeast infections like torulopsis may progress to painful bladder symptoms. The fungus involved naturally occurs in many parts of the body, but in people who have lower immunity, the yeast may cause numerous painful symptoms and affect bladder functioning.
Other bladder pain causes include direct injury to the bladder, surgery performed on it, or in some cases pain is associated with very full bladders that cannot properly empty. For instance women who have been through childbirth with an epidural may note great discomfort and might require catheterization to empty a very full bladder, if a cath was not in place during the labor and delivery.