Common causes of bladder pain are urinary tract infections, bladder stones, benign fibroids large enough to put pressure on the bladder, and bladder pain syndrome (BPS)/interstitial cystitis.
BPS is defined as bladder discomfort that lasts for at least six weeks and occurs in the absence of a urinary tract infection or other known cause.
Your physician may diagnose you with BPS based on the symptom of discomfort with a full bladder and relief upon urination, accompanied by tenderness of the bladder/urethra/pelvis on exam. Urine studies will also be sent to rule out a urinary tract infection.
Women are five times more likely to have BPS compared to men. You may be more likely to have BPS if someone in your family also does or if you have other chronic pain syndromes (endometriosis, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome), though more research is needed to find out exactly what causes BPS.
The treatment of BPS oftentimes involves a multimodal approach. Common oral medications used are amitriptyline (Elavil), pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron), and hydroxyzine.
For an acute flare of bladder pain, your physician may offer you a bladder instillation, wherein a combination of medications will be placed into your bladder via a catheter in a simple office visit to help to relieve your symptoms.
In combination with these treatments, your physician may also suggest that you work with a physical therapist, a psychologist or psychiatrist, and other specialists to address additional chronic pain syndromes that are also present.
Your physician may recommend that you limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, and spicy foods. For some patients, these substances may trigger exacerbations of their bladder symptoms.
Hanno PM, Burks DA, Clemens JQ, et al. AUA guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome. J Urol 2011; 185:2162.
"It's such a wonderful place to be cared for. You feel comfortable the minute you walk in. Very rare to find a doctor and facility like this where you truly are family."
"I wish there were more doctors who did this kind of work, with the thoroughness that Dr. Harris displays."
"Dr Harris is an excellent doctor. If you need a specialist because of pelvic pain or pain with sex, this is who you need to go to."
"Dr. Harris spends plenty of time with me and treats me as a person, not just a patient. I never feel rushed at SoHo Gynecology. I can't recommend her more highly."
"Dr. Blume is a phenomenal obstetrician/gynecologist . She's very professional, approachable and down to earth. She's delivered both of my baby girls..."
"Dr. Blume is the best of the best. Down to earth, easy to talk to, extremely knowledgeable, and the most thorough Dr. I have ever seen."
"She is the best doctor ever. I will be following her. She treat you like family and is always very honest."
"She's a great doctor and such a sweet woman. She's always made me feel so comfortable and relaxed. Can't speak highly of her enough!"
"She is truly the best doctor. Very caring, client centered, and empathetic. Their are very few doctors like her existing anymore."