Bladder Pain Syndrome

Bladder Pain Syndrome

What is bladder pain syndrome? (how diff from UTI, when does a woman develop, causes)

Bladder pain syndrome, otherwise known as interstitial cystitis, is a chronic condition that causes pain in the pelvis and bladder. This condition most often affects women, but men can be diagnosed as well. Individuals experiencing bladder pain syndrome may feel the urge to urinate frequently, which may also be associated with pain. This can cause significant interference with one’s everyday lifestyle, but different interventions or medications can help relieve symptoms. Bladder pain syndrome differs from urinary tract infections (UTIs) because they are chronic in nature and there is no infection present.

What are symptoms of bladder pain syndrome?

Bladder pain syndrome occurs on a spectrum, with some women experiencing mild occasional pain and others feeling severe and chronic pain that may flare up in response to sexual intercourse, menstrual cycles, or stress. Common symptoms include aches in the area between the vagina and anus (or scrotum and anus), a frequent need to urinate, chronic pain in the pelvic area especially as the bladder fills, and bladder leaks. People experiencing bladder pain syndrome may also feel pain during sexual intercourse. Comfortable, all-natural products can help you manage your bladder leaks and live a normal, healthy lifestyle. Depending on the size and frequency of your leaks, you may opt for pads, briefs, wipes, or some combination of products. This quiz and product guide can help you identify which products are suitable for your needs.

How is bladder pain syndrome caused?

While there are no clear causes of bladder pain syndrome, there are a few factors that are likely to contribute. Women older than the age of 30 are the most likely to experience this condition. People experiencing irritable bowel syndrome may be likely to also have bladder pain syndrome. Genetics or damage in the lining of the bladder may also contribute. 

How is bladder pain syndrome diagnosed and treated?

A medical professional can help you diagnose bladder pain syndrome. They may conduct a pelvic exam where they check on your pelvic floor muscles for weakness, spasming, or injury. A doctor can help you rule out urinary tract infections or other potential conditions such as endometriosis. A cystoscopy may be done to examine the bladder and urethra more closely and confirm the diagnosis. To be diagnosed as bladder pain syndrome, the condition should last for more than six weeks. Aside from medical interventions, dietary changes may be suggested. Coffee and spicy foods should be avoided. 

Does bladder pain syndrome affect pregnancy?

While pregnant women may already experience pressure in the bladder and frequent urination, bladder pain syndrome may exacerbate these symptoms. Natural interventions such as physical therapy or dietary changes can be very helpful during this time, as caution should be exercised when taking medications while pregnant. Bladder pain syndrome may increase the likelihood of birth complications such as preeclampsia. However, many women actually experience an improvement of their symptoms during pregnancy. While the cause behind this is unclear, hormonal changes may be a factor.

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