The urinary bladder is a sac like organ that allows temporary storage of urine. The urinary bladder is in the pelvis, just above and behind the pubic bone. The bladder resembles the shape of a pear. The muscles in the bladder are responsible to pass the sensation of fullness of bladder to create an urge to void. the other function is to voluntarily contract the bladder muscles to allow voiding.

The kidneys filters blood and separates the urine that travels down through ureters(tubes that connect the kidney to the bladder) to the urinary bladder. The bladder is lined by layers of muscle tissue that stretch to hold urine. When the bladder gets full the wall is stretched it is perceived as the sensation of fullness and the  need to void is created. The normal capacity of the bladder is 400-600 mL.During urination, the bladder muscles squeeze voluntarily, and two sphincters (valves) open to allow urine to flow out. Urine exits the bladder into the urethra, which carries urine out of the body.A normal bladder functions through a complex mechanism of musculoskeletal, neurologic, and psychological functions that allow filling and emptying of the bladder contents. 

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Frequently asked questions about Bladder

Where is the bladder in the body?

The urinary bladder is a triangular shaped, hollow organ located in the lower abdomen above and behind the pelvis.

What is the role of urinary bladder?

The urinary bladder works as a storage vessel for urine. It can accommodate up to 800 mL of urine atmaximum capacity in adults.

How do you know if something is wrong with your bladder?

In case of an overactive bladder, a sudden urge to urinate that difficult to control is felt. Urgency incontinence- when there is a strong urge to urinate that cannot be controlled. Urinate frequently due to incomplete emptying leading to urinating eight or more times in 24 hours.

Where do you feel bladder pain?

Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen. Pain may get intense the bladder fills up. The pain is short lived and relief is provided when the bladder is empty. 

What are common bladder problems?

There bladder problems are:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI) that affects the bladder (cystitis)
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Overactive bladder
  • Interstitial cystitis (also known as bladder pain syndrome)
  • Bladder cancer
What are the signs and symptoms of bladder problems?

Specific signs and symptoms of bladder problems include:

  • Bladder leakage
  • Pain or a burning sensation during urination
  • Cloudy urine
  • Urgency
  • Frequent urination due to incomplete emptying
  • Urine that smells strong
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pressure or pain in the lower abdomen
What are the causes of bladder control problems?

The reasons for bladder problems are:

In females weak pelvic floor muscles due to

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Trauma or injury
  • cystocele and pelvic organ prolapse 
  • menopause 

Men sometimes develop UI along with prostate problems.

Prostate problems: The prostate gland in men surrounds bladder opening. The prostate enlarges as age advances in men. This non-cancerous enlargement is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) which causes

problems with starting to urinate

  • A slow urine stream
  • Incomplete bladder emptying 

Certain health changes and neurological problems can lead to urinary incontinence

How can one prevent Bladder problems?

To keep your bladder healthy and prevent any problems follow the below advise:

  • Drink enough fluids, especially water. 
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine
  • Quit smoking. 
  • Avoid constipation. 
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly. 
  • Kegels exercises. to help hold urine in the bladder
  • Use the bathroom often and when needed. 
  • Take enough time to fully empty the bladder when urinating. 
  • Be in a relaxed position while urinating. 
  • Wipe from front to back after using the toilet.  
  • Urinate after sex
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes.
Which are the diagnosis tests for bladder diseases?

Bladder Tests are as below:

  • Urinalysis: This basic test of urine is done both routinely and when looking for problems with either the bladder or kidneys. 
  • Cystoscopy: A narrow tube is passed through the urethra and into the bladder to look, diagnose and treat bladder problems. 
  • Urodynamic testing: A series of computer assisted tests to measure the bladder pressure

What are the treatments of Bladder problems?

The treatments of Bladder issues are as below:

  • Cystoscopy: A narrow tube is passed through the urethra into the bladder to diagnose and treat bladder problems.
  • Surgery: Bladder, urinary incontinence and cystocele may also be treated with surgery.
  • Bladder catheterization: to relieve pressure in the bladder.
  • Anti-spasm medications: help relieve some bladder (detrusor) overactivity and incontinence.
  • Kegel exercises: Exercising the pelvic muscles (as when stopping your urine stream) may improve urinary incontinence.
What kind of doctor do you see for bladder issues?

Urologist. An urologist specializes in male and female urinary disorders, as well as the male reproductive system.

Should I limit the amount of fluids I drink?

No. Many people with bladder pain syndrome think they should drink less to relieve pain and reduce the number of times they go to the bathroom. But one needs fluids, especially water, for good health. Getting enough fluids helps keep your kidneys and bladder healthy, prevent urinary tract infections, and prevent constipation, which may make your symptoms worse.

How does bladder pain syndrome affect a woman’s health?

Some ways that severe symptoms of bladder pain syndrome may affect a woman's health include: Lack of high-quality sleep. Women with severe symptoms might get up throughout the night to urinate. Interrupted sleep can lead to extreme fatigue and sometimes depression.

What causes bladder pain without infection?

Interstitial cystitis (IC)/bladder pain syndrome (BPS) is a chronic bladder health issue. It is a feeling of pain and pressure in the bladder area. Along with this pain are lower urinary tract symptoms which have lasted for more than 6 weeks, without having an infection or other clear causes.

How does interstitial cystitis affect the body?

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition causing bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pelvic pain. The pain ranges from mild discomfort to severe pain. The condition is a part of a spectrum of diseases known as painful bladder syndrome.

What is bladder cancer?

cancer is uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. a mass that spreads is known as malignant and a tumor that grows but does not spread is termed benign. Urinary bladder cancer may originally start from the kidneys or ureters any may involve the bladder cells as well.

What are the bladder cancer stages?

The stages are-

  • NX: The regional lymph nodes cannot be evaluated.
  • N0 (N plus zero): The cancer has not spread to the regional lymph nodes.
  • N1: The cancer has spread to a single regional lymph node in the pelvis.
  • N2: The cancer has spread to 2 or more regional lymph nodes in the pelvis.
  • N3: The cancer has spread to the common iliac lymph nodes, which are located behind the major arteries in the pelvis, above the bladder.

What are the treatment options for bladder cancer?

In general, the main treatment options for bladder cancer are:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy (local and systemic)
  • Targeted therapy
  • Radiation therapy

Recent Articles

Signs and symptoms of urinary incontinence can include

  • Urine leakage during day to day activities 
  • Urgency to urinate right 
  • Urine leakage without any warning 
  • Bed wetting 

Bladder Conditions

  • Cystitis: is the inflammation or infection of the bladder.
  • Urinary stones: Stones (calculi) may form in the kidney and travel down to the bladder. If kidney stones block urine flow to or from the bladder, they can cause severe pain.
  • Bladder cancer: A tumor in the bladder is usually discovered after blood is found in the urine.
  • Urinary incontinence: Uncontrolled urination, which may be chronic. 
  • Overactive bladder: The bladder muscle (detrusor) squeezes uncontrollably, causing some urine to leak out. 
  • Hematuria: Blood in the urine. Hematuria may be harmless, or may be caused by infection or a serious condition like bladder cancer.
  • Urinary retention: Urine does not exit the bladder normally due to a blockage or suppressed bladder muscle activity. The bladder may swell to hold more than a quart of urine.
  • Cystocele: Weakened pelvic muscles (usually from childbirth) allow the bladder to press on the vagina. Problems with urination can result.
  • Bed-wetting (nocturnal enuresis): Bed-wetting is defined as a child age 5 or older who wets the bed at least one or two times a week over at least 3 months.
  • Dysuria (painful urination): Pain or discomfort during urination due to infection, irritation, or inflammation of the bladder, urethra, or external genitals.

Bladder Treatments

  • Cystoscopy: A narrow tube is passed through the urethra into the bladder to view diagnose and treat bladder problems. 
  • Surgery: Bladder cancer, some cases of urinary incontinence and cystocele may also be treated with surgery.
  • Bladder catheterization: to relieve the pressure on the bladder if the urine outflow is obstructed.
  • Anti-spasm medications: help relieve some bladder (detrusor) overactivity and incontinence.
  • Kegel exercises: Exercising the pelvic muscles (as when stopping your urine stream) help improve urinary incontinence.
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