Bladder Diseases

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When urine passes out of the kidneys, it collects in the bladder, a hollow organ in your lower abdomen, until it is excreted through a tube called the urethra. Conditions ranging from minor infections to more serious long-term diseases and cancer can affect bladder function. They include:
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Urinary incontinence (bladder control loss)
  • Interstitial cystitis (chronic bladder wall inflammation)
Besides your bladder, your urinary system includes your kidneys, ureters and urethra. If germs get inside the urethra, they can travel to the bladder and infect it. Symptoms of a UTI include:
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Stomach tenderness
  • Cloudy or odd-smelling urine
Diagnosis and Treatment of a UTI 
Your physician will ask for a urine sample to test for a bladder infections. If you test positive, your doctor usually will prescribe an oral antibiotic. To prevent UTIs, drink plenty of water daily and urinate when you have to (don’t try to hold it). For women, urinating immediately after sex can help. If you’re post-menopausal, talk to your doctor about using vaginal estrogen to prevent infections.
Interstitial Cystitis
Interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as painful bladder syndrome (PBS), causes bladder and abdomen discomfort and pain. The cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown, but it may affect millions of men, women and children in the United States. Symptoms of IC may include:
  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Lower abdomen pain

Treatment of IC
IC cannot be cured, but symptoms can be managed through diet modification, bladder retraining, physical therapy, medicine or surgery.

Bladder Cancer
Tens of thousands of men and women in the United States are diagnosed with bladder cancer annually. Most cases are caught in the early stages when they are highly treatable.

At Houston Methodist, your oncology team is committed to offering you the most advanced cancer treatments available. Our services include established approaches, as well as innovative treatments. 

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