The Commonality of Bladder Pains and Effective Treatment Options

Many individuals are affected by bladder symptoms, but believe the myth that it is simply due to aging and there is nothing that can be done to treat their symptoms. Having a healthy bladder is an important function to the body. The bladder stores the urine that is produced by the kidneys and is then emptied into the urethra when it empties from the body. Bladder conditions may vary by person, but if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, it’s important to tell your primary care physician. “There’s a couple of different bladder problems, but the most worrisome problem someone could have would be bladder cancer,” says Dr. Jason Orien, urologist for Portneuf Medical Group.

Symptoms of bladder cancer include:

  • Visible blood in urine
  • Bladder leakage
  • Having to go to the bathroom all the time

Tens of millions of individuals in the United States deal with bladder symptoms and are reluctant to seek care. What are some ways to fight symptoms? Dr. Orien shares the following recommended lifestyle changes:

  • Stop smoking. Smoking gives a three-fold higher chance of having bladder cancer, and can irritate the lining of the bladder- making it more likely to develop symptoms, even in the absence of cancer
  • Cut back the caffeine. Caffeine worsens bladder symptoms
  • Decrease alcohol intake. Alcohol also worsens bladder symptoms
  • Avoid spicy foods. Spicy foods irritate the bladder
  • Drink plenty of water. Hydrated patients have healthier bladders even though it may cause more frequent bathroom trips, it is different from an irritated bladder

Treatment options for bladder problems:

  • Pelvic floor physical therapy - therapists will help patients strengthen their pelvic floor muscle
  • Case-by-case treatment - doctors can look into the medical history of a patient, including medications and diet to modify for lessened symptoms
  • Medication - there are effective medications that can be prescribed to patients affected by bladder symptoms

For women who experience stress incontinence, the involuntary leakage of urine when you cough or sneeze, have several different treatment options:

  • Pelvic floor muscles strengthening
  • Mid-urethral sling - this procedure is designed to support the urethra and prevent it from dropping during physical activity

For women who experience leakage from an overactive bladder, medications can be prescribed by a physician. Dr.Orien explains, “if medications are ineffective, we typically treat them with Insterstim, which is a surgically implanted device that helps the bladder and the brain communicate more consistently.”

Symptoms are most commonly caused by aging, and more specifically traces to past back issues. Women who have had children, or previous pelvic surgeries may have impaired nerves due to spine issues. Dr.Orien reassures “I really do try to let patients know that this is a really common problem and that we do have effective treatments for it.”

Bladder health can be an uncomfortable and an extremely personal topic to bring up to your doctor, but Dr.Orien wants all patients to know “A lot of patients hesitate to bring up these topics, especially men. The first thing I do is I explain to them the normal function of the bladder. What it's normally designed to do, how it does its job and then I try to explain to them why they might be experiencing these symptoms.” Patients sometimes wait years to seek medical attention. “Don’t wait, reach out to your primary care physician about your symptoms and possible treatments.”

To learn more about Portneuf Medical Group’s Urology services and Urologists, please visit

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