Contact No. 07553 150507Email: In Touch

Bladder Pain Syndrome - Overview

Bladder Pain Syndrome is difficult to diagnose because there are no single tests to determine whether you have the syndrome. However, symptoms include:

Other symptoms can include finding it difficult to pee, urinary incontinence and blood in your urine (haematuria).

These symptoms can sometimes be caused by other conditions, such as cancer of the bladder. This is why you'll need a range of tests to rule out other possible causes before BPS (interstitial cystitis) can be diagnosed.

Who gets BPS?

  • Most common in women over 30 years old
  • Symptoms can come and go with time, flaring up occasionally.
  • Pain be worse following your period or after eating/drinking certain foods/drinks.
Find out more about Bladder Pain Syndrome:
CausesTreatmentsBladder Pain Syndrome Specialists
Get a Diagnosis or Expert Advice:
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Book An Appointment With One Of Our Specialists

Book Now

What Causes Bladder Pain Syndrome?

The exact cause of BPS is unknown, but there are several ideas about what might cause it:
  • Damage to the bladder lining may cause urine to irritate surrounding nerves.
  • Problems with pelvic muscles used to control urination.
  • An inflammatory reaction caused by your immune system.

Diagnosis for Bladder Pain:

You may need to have multiple tests to diagnose Bladder Pain Syndrome, because it cannot be detected by one singular test. These can include:
  • Cystoscopy - a procedure to look inside your bladder with a telescopic camera
  • Urine test
  • Ultrasound, MRI scan or CT scan of the urinary tract and potentially the kidneys.
  • Urodynamic - a range of tests to assess the functionality of the bladder and the urethra
  • Vaginal swabs

How can BPS be Treated?

You may need to try different treatments to find out which works best for you:


  • Medicines are available to treat the symptoms: painkillers, nerve pain, urge to urinate.
  • Bladder Instillations - medicines can be passed directly into the bladder with a catheter. These include: lignocaine (local anaesthetic to numb the bladder), hyaluronic acid or chondroitin sulphate (to help restore the bladder lining), anti-biotics (to reduce inflammation and infection).


  • Physiotherapy - a specialist pelvic floor physio can help you to ease the pain by relaxing your muscles.
  • Acupuncture
  • Counselling - to help with the impact of BPS on your life.
  • Tibial Nerve Stimulation to help reduce the urge to urinate.
  • Pain management


Surgery will normally not be recommended unless other treatment options have been unsuccessful or you have obvious abnormal areas (lesions) in your bladder.

Surgical treatments include:
  • Cauterisation - ulcers inside the bladder are sealed using an electrical current or laser
  • Bladder Distension - the bladder is filled with a fluid to stretch it. This can aid with diagnosis and relieve symptoms temporarily.
  • Botox injections - these are injected into the bladder wall to relieve the urge to urinate and pain.
  • Neuromodulation - a device is implanted to stimulate your nerves with electricity. This can relieve pain and reduce immediate urges to urinate.
  • Cystectomy - this is only done as a last case resort. The surgeon may need to create an alternate way for you to urinate.

Bladder Pain Syndrome - Specialists

Dr Pallavi Latthe

Dr Pallavi Latthe

Consultant Gynaecologist and subspecialist Urogynaecologist

Dr Pallavi is an accredited subspecialist in urogynaecology and a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust.

She is the clinical lead for Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology in the Trust.

Read More
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.