Why Is Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS)?
Painful bladder syndrome (PBS) is a condition that causes bladder pain, pressure, and discomfort. Some people feel the need to urinate frequently or rush to get to the bathroom. The symptoms range from mild to severe, and can happen sometimes or all the time. PBS is not caused by an infection, but it can feel like a bladder infection like a urinary tract infection or UTI. Painful bladder syndrome is also referred to as bladder pain syndrome and interstitial cystitis. In the past, doctors thought PBS was rare and difficult to treat. We now know that PBS affects many and treatments can help.
What Causes Painful Bladder Syndrome?
No one knows the causes of painful bladder syndrome for sure, but we think it happens when the inner lining of the bladder is not working properly. This means that nerves in the wall of the bladder become hypersensitive, causing the normal feeling of the bladder filling to be painful. There may also be inflammation or allergic reaction responses in the bladder. Some people report developing PBS after an injury to the bladder such as a severe infection or major trauma, but this is not always the case. PBS is more common in people who have irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or other chronic pain conditions. It is not clear why these problems happen together.
What Are the Symptoms of Painful Bladder Syndrome?
Frequency is when someone feels they are urinating more than expected based on how much they are drinking. The average person urinates about seven times a day and might get up once at night. A person with PBS may have to go more often both day and night. Urgency is the need to rush to get to the bathroom. Some people feel a constant urge that never goes away, even right after they urinate.
People with PBS may also have bladder pain when the bladder fills. Some people feel pain in other areas, like the urethra (the opening where the urine comes out), vagina, lower abdomen, lower back, or the pelvic or perineal (sitting) area. The pain may be constant or come and go, and may change in severity over time.
Many people with PBS know that certain foods or drinks make their symptoms worse. Symptoms may worsen during times of physical or emotional stress or due to certain activities like sitting too long. Symptoms may also change with the menstrual cycle. Some women with PBS experience pain during sex and/or after sex.
How Is PBS Diagnosed?
There are different opinions about how to diagnose PBS because no test is 100% accurate. Everyone agrees that an office visit is needed to discuss symptoms, be examined and get urine tests. These tests can help make sure there isn’t another problem that might be causing the symptoms.
Treatment for PBS in Pasadena, CA
At Women’s Center for Pelvic Wellness, expert urogynecologists, Dr. Alexis May Kimble and Dr. David Kimble can help determine a treatment plan for Painful Bladder Syndrome. Call the office at (626) 535-0832 or book an appointment using the form below, and get on the road to feeling better today.