What causes bladder symptoms?
Bladder symptoms can be caused by conditions affecting nearby structures, infection, inflammation, injury, nervous system abnormalities, pregnancy, stones, and tumors.
Infectious and inflammatory causes of bladder symptoms
Bladder symptoms may be caused by infections or inflammatory conditions including:
- Bladder or other urinary tract infections
- Interstitial cystitis
- Prostatitis (infection or inflammation of the prostate)
Nervous system causes of bladder symptoms
Bladder symptoms can also be caused by nervous system abnormalities including:
- Brain or spinal cord tumors
- Multiple sclerosis (disease that affects the brain and spinal cord causing weakness, coordination, balance difficulties, and other problems)
- Parkinson’s disease (brain disorder that impairs movement and coordination)
- Spina bifida (incomplete closure of the spine during development)
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
Other causes of bladder symptoms
Bladder symptoms can also be caused by other diseases, disorders or conditions including:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate that occurs with age)
- Benign tumors of the bladder or nearby structures
- Bladder or urethral diverticulae (outpouchings)
- Cancer of the bladder or nearby structures
- Cystocele (bulging of the bladder into the vagina)
- Intrinsic urethral sphincter deficiency (weakness of the muscles around the urethra)
- Kidney or bladder stones
- Overactive bladder syndrome
- Pelvic floor dysfunction (tightness of the muscles forming the pelvic floor)
- Urethral stricture in men (narrowing of the urethra)
Serious or life-threatening causes of bladder symptoms
In some cases, bladder symptoms may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. These include:
- Pelvic trauma
- Urosepsis (life-threatening bacterial infection of the blood complicating a urinary tract or prostate infection)
Questions for diagnosing the cause of bladder symptoms
To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your bladder symptoms including:
- What kinds of bladder symptoms are you having?
- When did you first notice them?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
- Is there anything that makes your symptoms better or worse?
- Do you have any other medical conditions?
- What medications are you taking?
What are the potential complications of bladder symptoms?
Because bladder symptoms can be due to serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:
- Abscess (collection of pus) formation in or near the kidneys or in the prostate
- Chronic or frequent urinary tract infections
- Decreased bladder capacity
- Kidney damage or failure
- Ongoing or worsening symptoms
- Scarring of the urinary tract
- Spread of cancer
- Spread of infection
Bladder diseases. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/bladderdiseases.html. Accessed June 1, 2011.
Urinary incontinence. FamilyDoctor.org. http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/women/gen-health/189.printerview.html. Accessed June 1, 2011.
What are the signs of bladder problems?
The bladder is a muscular organ located behind and slightly above your pubic bone that stores urine until it is ready to be expelled from your body. Bladder symptoms can be caused by conditions affecting nearby structures, infection, inflammation, injury, kidney or bladder stones, nervous system abnormalities, and tumors. Common bladder symptoms include bloody or pink-colored urine (hematu... Read more about bladder symptoms introduction
What other symptoms might occur with bladder symptoms?
Bladder symptoms may accompany other symptoms that vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the urinary tract may also involve other body systems.... Read more about bladder symptoms symptoms