Bladder pain in women, what to do?

Throughout her life, a woman can be prone to recurrent urinary tract infections. One of the most common, which affects women 50 times more than men, is cystitis. This inflammation of the bladder affects nearly 50% of women on more than one occasion. It usually manifests itself by a more or less intense pain in the bladder. What causes this disease? How can it be treated? Cliniques Marois provides you with all the information you need about bladder pain in women and suggests the best possible treatments.

What is bladder inflammation?

Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder that can be bacterial or non-bacterial in origin. When it is non-bacterial, it is called non-bacterial interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome. This chronic, noninfectious inflammation of the bladder is quite rare and affects five to ten times more women than men. It can occur in women from the age of 18.

Bacterial cystine or acute cystitis is the most common form and is a urinary tract infection that is localized in the bladder. It is of bacterial origin and can be cured quickly with appropriate treatment.

Causes of bladder pain in women

The causes of cystitis can vary depending on the form the patient is suffering from.

Les causes de la cystite aiguë

The symptoms of bladder inflammation in women

One of the main manifestations of cystitis is of course bladder pain. Some women experience moderate bladder pain, while others experience very severe pain. Here are some common symptoms of bladder inflammation, both infectious and non-bacterial:

  • a sensation of burning or pain at the end of urination in the patient,
  • pain in the lower abdomen,
  • a feeling of heaviness, especially in the bladder area,
  • Urinary urgency with a feeling of not being able to hold it (urinary incontinence),
  • frequent and persistent need to urinate without being able to really evacuate a significant amount of urine (pollakiuria),
  • dyspareunia.

Dyspareunia is characterized by pain felt by the woman before, during or after penetration.

The symptoms of cystitis most often worsen as the bladder fills. In the most severe cases, women affected by this condition may sit for hours with a few continuous drops of urine. Inflammation of the bladder can also be manifested by cloudy urine that has an unusual odor. This urine may contain traces of blood.

Symptoms of the condition in women can worsen during menstruation or ovulation. They can also be aggravated by physical stress, seasonal allergies, consumption of foods rich in potassium, but also alcohol and tobacco.

When to consult?

Some people who have non-bacterial bladder inflammation do not have symptoms of the disease. Therefore, it may be silent and appear all at once. In most cases, clinical signs appear gradually and become more intense as the lining is affected.

At the first signs of bladder inflammation, it is important to drink enough water and to consult your doctor. While waiting for your doctor’s appointment, it is not advisable to hold back the need to urinate. Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the need. It is also safer to avoid sexual intercourse until the symptoms have completely disappeared.

Once the symptoms have appeared, a visit to a doctor within the same day is essential to :

  • pregnant women, because of the high risk of urinary tract infection during this period,
  • people with immune deficiencies or chronic illnesses (diabetes or chronic kidney disease)
  • Patients who are prone to urinary tract problems,
  • seniors over 75 years old.

Consultation also becomes urgent in cases where the patient has a fever or localized pain in the back. If the pain in the lower abdomen becomes intense, it is essential to consult a doctor urgently.

Diagnoses of bladder inflammation

The diagnosis is an essential step that allows the patient to distinguish the type of cystitis she has. The specialist will then be able to propose the appropriate and effective treatment plan to eradicate the disease.

Depending on the patient’s symptoms, the specialist may perform a urinalysis, a urine cytobacteriological examination (UCE), a cystoscopy of the bladder or a biopsy.

First, the doctor may perform a urine test using a urine dipstick. The purpose of this test is to detect the presence of nitrites and white blood cells (leukocytes) that are usually produced during a urinary tract infection.

The ECBU is performed to complete the strip analysis or systematically on the patient after admission. Carried out in a laboratory, this analysis makes it possible to confirm a cystitis and especially to identify the germ that is responsible for the contamination. It is usually done in the morning, because the urine sample must be taken at least 4 hours after the previous urination. The urine will then have stayed in the bladder long enough to collect many bacteria in case of a urinary infection.

If this test is negative, the specialist may then order a cystoscopy of the bladder. It consists of exploring the inner wall of the urethra and/or bladder in order to diagnose a lesion. It is performed with an endoscope that is inserted into the urinary tract.

Bladder biopsy is often indicated for the diagnosis of interstitial cystitis.

Diagnostics de l'inflammation de la vessie

Treatment options for bladder inflammation

Treatments may vary depending on the type of cystitis the patient has.

Contact us To learn more about available treatments

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