Thousands of people suffer from bladder issues, and these conditions can affect both men and women of any age. Bladder problems can range from being an occasional inconvenience to a condition that affects a person's daily life. Learn more about the most common bladder issues and their treatments.
Common Bladder Issues and Treatments
Overactive bladder is a condition in which you have a frequent and sudden urge to urinate. It can be difficult to stop and can lead to incontinence. Some people can control overactive bladders with fluid scheduling, visiting the bathroom on a regular schedule or practicing techniques that strengthen the muscles on the pelvic floor.
In more severe cases, doctors may prescribe medications to relax the bladder and relieve symptoms. Botox injections partially paralyze the bladder muscles to treat severe urge incontinence.
Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. This ranges in severity from leaking urine when coughing or sneezing to having a physical or mental impairment that makes it impossible to reach the toilet in time. This condition can affect people of any age but becomes more common in people as they get older.
Behavioral techniques are the most common treatments for urinary incontinence. These include managing fluid intake, bladder training, double voiding and making scheduled trips to the bathroom. In more severe instances, doctors may prescribe medication or devices as a bladder leakage treatment.
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic bladder condition that causes pelvic or bladder pain and frequent urination. This is more commonly a women's bladder problem and often mimics the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Doctors often prescribe medications to help manage the pain and other symptoms that go along with interstitial cystitis. These might include anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants and antihistamines.
Bladder cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States, and it affects men more than women. This type of cancer starts in the lining of the bladder, but it can affect other parts of the urinary tract as well. Cancer bladder symptoms include blood in the urine, painful urination and pelvic pain. Back pain and overactive bladder are also common.
Treatments for bladder cancer vary depending on the type, grade and stage as well as the overall health of the patient. Treatment often includes a combination of one or more of the following: surgery, chemotherapy in the bladder, chemotherapy in the whole body, radiation therapy and immunotherapy.
Hematuria is the medical term for blood in the urine. While this can be a symptom of bladder problems like cancer, it's often not that serious. There are dozens of reasons why blood can appear in your urine, including menstruation in women, urinary tract infection, overexertion during a workout, certain medications or an injury to the kidneys.
There is no single treatment for hematuria since there are so many different causes. Some types don’t require any treatment. If the cause is an infection, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
Cystocele is more commonly referred to as a fallen bladder. Fallen bladder problems occur when the ligaments holding the bladder in place weaken and cause the bladder to fall into the vagina. Symptoms of fallen bladder include frequent urination, incontinence, frequent urinary tract infections, problems inserting tampons and bladder bulging out of the vagina.
Dropped bladder repair is a surgical procedure that places the bladder back into its correct position. In mild instances, no treatment is necessary aside from avoiding strenuous activities that might make the condition worse.