Bladder Health

The bladder is a muscular sac in the pelvis, just above and behind the pubic bone. When empty, the bladder is about the size and shape of a pear. Urine is made in the kidneys and travels down two tubes called ureters to the bladder. The bladder stores urine, allowing urination to be infrequent and controlled.

However, several different bladder problems can cause pain. Three of the most common causes of bladder pain are interstitial cystitis, urinary tract infection, and bladder cancer.

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers, affecting approximately 80,000 adults in the United States each year.1 Bladder cancer usually affects older adults, but it can happen at any age. To learn more, click HERE.

Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic condition in which the bladder becomes inflamed and irritated. The inflammation stiffens the bladder wall and makes it difficult for the bladder to fully expand when filling with urine. People with this condition may also urinate more frequently or feel an urgent need to urinate, yet they may only pass a little bit of urine each time. Additional symptoms include pelvic and abdominal pain and pressure. Discomfort can range from a mild burning sensation to severe pain. The degree of discomfort can be persistent or infrequent.

According to the Interstitial Cystitis Association, IC affects more than 10 million people in the United States. Women are most likely to develop IC, but children and adult men can get it as well.

Urinary Tract Infection

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

What Testing Would my Healthcare Provider Order?

If you are experiencing symptoms and your healthcare provider suspects an issue with your bladder, using a simple urine specimen, GenPath can perform testing to assist in screening, diagnosis, and management of your bladder health. Ask your doctor about bladder-specific testing through GenPath, such as UroVysion®.


  1. American Cancer Society. Accessed May 22, 2019.