Bladder pain without an infection may be due to damage to your bladder’s lining, problems with your pelvic floor muscles, or inflammation. You may a variety of tests to determine the cause of your bladder pain.

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If you’re experiencing bladder pain or changes to your urination patterns, you may assume that it’s from a urinary tract infection. However, there are other reasons you may be experiencing this discomfort.

Conditions like bladder pain syndrome (BPS) and, in rare cases, bladder cancer can also cause similar symptoms.

Your doctor may recommend a variety of tests to help determine the source of your pain. There’s no cure for BPS, but treatments and lifestyle changes may help relieve or eliminate symptoms.

Learn more about bladder pain.

If you’re experiencing bladder pain without an infection, you may have bladder pain syndrome (BPS), also known as painful bladder syndrome or interstitial cystitis. BPS can have different causes.

Damage to the bladder’s lining

Damage to the bladder’s lining may cause pee to irritate it. Damage to the bladder may also impact surrounding nerves, causing pain.

One potential reason for bladder lining damage is surgical complications. Growths and cysts can also contribute to problems with the bladder’s lining.

Problems with pelvic floor muscles

Weakened or dysfunctional pelvic floor muscles may reduce the control you have over your bladder and peeing.

Childbirth, obesity, and surgery can all negatively affect pelvic floor muscles.

Inflammation not due to an infection

A chronic urinary tract infection can cause bladder inflammation, but an autoimmune condition may also cause it.

Bladder inflammation and pain may also be related to chronic conditions such as:

People with these conditions are at an increased risk for bladder pain.

It’s important to keep in mind that inflammation and bladder pain symptoms can also flare up as a result of triggers like allergies, Pap smears, medications, and stress.

See your doctor if:

  • there’s blood in your urine
  • bladder or pelvic pain increases or persists.
  • your urination patterns change
  • pain extends to the lower abdomen
  • pain occurs during or after sex

There’s no specific test to diagnose BPS.

Your doctor may recommend a number of different tests to determine the exact cause of your bladder pain, depending on the symptoms you report.

These tests may include:

If you have bladder pain without an infection, your doctor will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan.

It may include lifestyle and dietary changes, physical therapy, and medication for pain or other symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be recommended.

Every person is different, and you may find some treatments may be more helpful than others. A combination of treatments may be necessary to manage your pain.

Why does my bladder hurt, but I don’t have a UTI?

Your bladder may hurt because of damage to its lining, a problem with your pelvic floor muscles, or an inflammatory reaction not caused by an infection.

Certain chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), may also cause bladder pain.

How do I know if my bladder pain is serious?

You should always contact your doctor if you have blood in your urine.

You should also notify your doctor if you have a urination pattern that is impacting your daily life or if you have bladder and pelvic pain that increases or does not go away.

How do I get my bladder to stop hurting?

In general, drinking plenty of water throughout the day, not smoking, and minimizing stress can help decrease bladder pain. Your doctor may recommend medications, lifestyle changes, or surgery depending on the reason for your bladder pain.

Bladder pain can be the result of damage to the bladder’s lining, problems with pelvic floor muscles, or inflammation from chronic conditions. Your doctor may suggest a variety of tests to determine the reason why you are experiencing pain.

It’s important to notify your doctor if pelvic pain is becoming more severe or continues to persist. You should also always let your doctor know if you have blood in your urine.

Your doctor may suggest a variety of lifestyle changes and medical treatments depending on the cause of your pain.