Do I Have Painful Bladder Syndrome?

Occasional pelvic pain isn’t uncommon. Menstrual cramps and constipation are two conditions that frequently contribute to pelvic pain. But what if the occasional incidence of pelvic pain isn’t occasional any longer?

If you’re suffering from chronic pelvic pain, Dr. Essam Taymour and our team at Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group diagnose and treat your pain ― and the underlying conditions that contribute to your discomfort. In this blog, we take a closer look at one potential cause of pelvic pain: painful bladder syndrome.

What is painful bladder syndrome?

Interstitial cystitis, often referred to as painful bladder syndrome, is a condition that causes bladder pain and discomfort. Unlike urinary tract infections or bladder infections, painful bladder syndrome isn’t caused by a bacterial infection.

The exact cause of painful bladder syndrome isn’t known, but certain triggers can make your symptoms worse. These include being stressed, skipping meals, not staying adequately hydrated, taking certain medications, and seasonal changes in the weather.

Signs that you have painful bladder syndrome

The symptoms of painful bladder syndrome can range in severity, and they fall into three categories: frequency, urgency, and pain.


If you feel like you need more bathroom breaks than normal, it could be related to painful bladder syndrome. Note that increasing your fluid intake and taking some medications can mean more trips to the restroom, but if you feel like you’re urinating too frequently, talk to your doctor. 


Urgency refers to the sudden, intense need to urinate. In some cases, urgency can create embarrassing situations if you can’t get to the restroom in time.

Feeling a strong urge to urinate is normal if you’ve recently consumed a large amount of fluids or if it’s been several hours since you last voided. However, urgency isn’t normal if the sensation arises after you’ve just used the restroom or if you also experience a burning sensation when you need to go.


Having a full bladder can be uncomfortable for anyone, but experiencing pain when your bladder is full can be a sign of painful bladder syndrome. Pain can present in a few different ways:

Some people with painful bladder syndrome may experience pain but not the urgency or frequency. If your pain is related to a bladder muscle spasm, certain events (such as intercourse) may trigger pain in your pelvic floor muscles.

Treating painful bladder syndrome

If you suspect your symptoms are related to painful bladder syndrome, the first step is to see a doctor who can provide a proper diagnosis. The source of your pelvic pain may be diagnosed after a thorough pelvic exam, lab work to rule out infections, ultrasounds, or laparoscopy.

Once painful bladder syndrome — or another gynecologic condition — is confirmed, our team at Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group works with you to find the treatment that’s right for you. Examples of possible treatments for painful bladder syndrome include:

If you have pelvic pain and suspect that painful bladder syndrome is the cause, call our Long Beach, California, office at 562-247-3038. Alternatively, you can request an appointment anytime through our convenient online booking tool.

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