Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Pain Management Health Center

Font Size

Bladder Pain

Urinary Tract Infection

The urinary tract is normally sterile, but sometimes bacteria can sneak in through the urethra, which connects the bladder with the outside of the body. A urinary tract infection can affect any part of the urinary system, including the bladder, ureters, urethra, and kidneys. However, it is most common in the bladder (cystitis). Women are much more likely than men to develop a bladder infection.

Symptoms of a bladder infection may include:

  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Pain or tenderness in the abdomen
  • Cloudy, bloody, or foul-smelling urine
  • Low-grade fever

Doctors diagnose urinary tract infections by taking a urine sample and testing it for bacteria.

Antibiotics can be prescribed for a few days to treat a bladder infection. Also, drink plenty of fluids to flush bacteria out of your urinary tract.

Bladder Cancer

Just as cancer can form in other organs, it can develop in the bladder. The most common type of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma, which begins in the innermost layer of tissue lining the bladder.

In addition to bladder pain, other symptoms of bladder cancer can include:

The following tests may be used to diagnose bladder cancer:

Cystoscopy. The doctor inserts a thin, lighted tube called a cystoscope into the bladder. During the test, the doctor can remove tissue samples from the bladder to be checked in the lab for cancer (biopsy). Bladder washings may also be performed to check for the presence of cancer cells. A procedure called flourescence cystoscopy is another way doctors can check for cancer.

Imaging tests. A CT or MRI scan is used to take detailed images of the bladder, which are sent to a computer screen. Your doctor may inject a special dye to help the bladder show up more clearly. Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is a series of X-rays taken of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder using a contrast dye to highlight these organs.

Urinalysis and urine culture. The doctor tests a sample of your urine for bacteria and other substances that can indicate disease.

Today on WebMD

pain in brain and nerves
Top causes and how to find relief.
knee exercise
8 exercises for less knee pain.
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
illustration of nerves in hand
lumbar spine
Woman opening window
Man holding handful of pills
Woman shopping for vegetables
Sore feet with high heel shoes
acupuncture needles in woman's back
man with a migraine