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Painful Bladder Syndrome

Painful Bladder Syndrome

Painful bladder syndrome is a chronic condition that causes a combination of symptoms, including pain and uncomfortable pressure in the bladder, and occasionally pain in the pelvis. Painful bladder syndrome usually affects adult women, though it has been found in men and children as well.

The cause is currently unknown, though it is theorized that certain people have a defect in the protective lining of the bladder that allows toxic substances to leak inside. The toxic substances irritate the bladder, causing a range of painful symptoms.

The symptoms of painful bladder syndrome include:

  • Chronic pain in the pelvis
  • Pain between the vagina and anus
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Frequent urgent need to urinate, yet passing only a small amount of liquid each time

The severity of pain and discomfort usually varies over time, from virtually undetectable to pain so severe that it becomes disabling. The type of treatment depends on how frequently painful bladder syndrome interrupts the patient's daily life.

While there is no single treatment to eliminate the condition, Temple's urologists can offer oral medications to lessen the symptoms, including anti-inflammatories, tricyclic antidepressants, antihistamines and Elmiron, the only FDA-approved drug treatment for painful bladder syndrome. Elmiron may work by restoring the inner lining of the bladder, potentially leading to a decrease in painful symptoms.

Other treatments may include:

  • Nerve stimulation
  • Bladder distention
  • Medications distilled directly into the bladder
  • Surgery, including open and minimally invasive options

To schedule an appointment with a Temple urologist, click here or call
1-800-TEMPLE-MED (1-800-836-7536).