Disclaimer: The material provided in this website is for information only, it’s not medical advice or instruction and any information you consider should be discussed with your physician.

Diagnosing bladder conditions

Pain or hypersensitivity in the bladder and pelvic area, and the frequent and often urgent need to urinate can be an indication of a variety of bladder conditions, such as:1,2

  • Cystitis – which is usually caused by a bacterial infection, but can also be drug induced (particularly by chemotherapy or illicit drugs) or occur when the bladder is irritated or inflamed for other reasons1,4
  • Overactive bladder – urgency, with or without urinary urge incontinence, usually with frequency and nocturia5,6
  • Urinary incontinence – loss of bladder control leading to involuntary loss of urine7,8
  • Urinary retention – the accumulation of urine in the bladder that results from incomplete or inadequate bladder emptying9,10
  • Urinary stones – when stones (calculi) form in the kidney and travel down to the bladder11,12
  • Haematuria – when there’s microscopic or visible blood in the urine, which may be caused by a less serious condition such as haemorrhoids or an infection or a more serious condition13,14
  • Bladder cancer – when malignant cells form in the tissue of the bladder and can spread into the muscle or adjacent organs15

Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) is one of the most prevalent types of bladder conditions. It exists in many forms, and can have a range of possible causes or triggers. A complex form of cystitis, called bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC) is idiopathic in nature, making it particularly difficult to diagnose and treat. Others, such as recurrent bacterial cystitis (RBC) may be more straightforward to diagnose but particularly challenging to treat effectively.

This website will provide you with more information on different causes and types of cystitis. However, if you have a patient with recurrent symptoms you might want to consult with or refer them to a specialist.