Three common causes of bladder pain and urgency include interstitial cystitis, urinary tract infection and bladder cancer, states WebMD. Additional symptoms may accompany these conditions, and they all require medical attention to rule out or diagnose.
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition in which the bladder wall becomes inflamed and irritated, causing stiffness and a reduced ability to expand while holding urine, explains WebMD. The pain is worse when the bladder is full, and it occurs in the lower back, abdomen or groin. Despite the urgency, very little urine comes out when the person uses the toilet. Treatment for this condition involves oral medication, bladder instillation with liquid medication or bladder distension. As a last resort, a doctor may recommend surgery.
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enters the urethra. While the infection most commonly affects the bladder, it may affect any part of the urinary system, says WebMD. Besides pain and urgency, other symptoms include abdominal pain, cloudy urine, a foul-smell with urination and fever. Doctors use antibiotics to treat UTIs but also recommend flushing out the kidneys by drinking a lot of water.
If the doctor suspects bladder cancer, he may diagnose or confirm it through cystoscopy, imaging tests, urinalysis or urine culture, according to WebMD. Treatment for bladder cancer may include chemotherapy, radiation or surgery to remove some, or all, of the bladder.