Bladder Pressure: Causes & Remedies

Pressure on the bladder can be caused by many different diseases or disorders. Usually, bladder pressure, lower abdominal pain, and urinary tract symptoms will all be part of the root cause disorder. It is important to determine the cause of pressure on the bladder in order to know how to treat the problem effectively.

Causes of Pressure on Bladder

Causes of pressure on the bladder can include:

1. Cystitis

Probably the most common cause of bladder pressure is cystitis or inflammation of the bladder. This is usually caused by bacteria that cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). The infection then moves up the ureters into the bladder and kidneys where bladder spasms create the feeling of pressure. Your healthcare provider will prescribe antibiotics to treat cystitis.

2. Prostatitis

Prostatitis is an infection of the prostate gland in men. The prostate gland can also become inflamed without evidence of infection. This gland is located below the bladder, so when it becomes inflamed, the bladder can also be affected. This disorder is managed by regular massage of the prostate gland and/or a course of antibiotics.

3. Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are growths in a woman's uterus that can result in pressure on the bladder. Fibroids can be treated in a number of ways. Your healthcare provider may first try treatment with hormones. If the fibroids do not go away and continue to put pressure on the bladder, your doctor may want you to see a surgeon for surgical removal of the fibroids.

4. Ovarian cancer

Ovarian or uterine cancer can cause pressure on the bladder due to the abnormal cell growth that causes the ovaries or uterus to press the bladder. Usually accompanied by pelvic pain and abnormal menses, if you are diagnosed with ovarian or uterine cancer, your doctor will send you to an oncologist who will work with you to develop a definitive plan of care.

5. Urinary tract infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common causes of pressure on the bladder. Caused by bacteria, a UTI can be anywhere in the urinary tract as opposed to cystitis which occurs in the bladder. Symptoms may include a need to urinate but the inability to empty the bladder completely. This results in a great deal of pressure and pain in the bladder. Your healthcare provider will prescribe an antibiotic for a UTI.

6. Bladder cancer

Cancer of the bladder usually begins in the lining of the bladder. This can cause bladder pain and pressure, bloody urine and lower back pain. Your doctor will run many different lab tests and radiological exams and should refer you to an oncologist for definitive treatment that may involve chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.

7. Other causes

There are several less common causes of pressure on the bladder including a bladder bulge that enlarges and causes pressure or swelling in bladder causing partial occlusion of the urinary outlet. As urine builds up in the bladder, pressure also builds. In women, endometriosis (or growth of uterine cells in the endometrium) can cause swelling and pressure on the bladder.

Remedies for Pressure on Bladder

In addition to medical treatments necessary for infections and cancer, there are many home remedies for pressure on the bladder. Some of these treatments include:

1. Use antibiotics for infection

If you have think you have an infection (pain with urination, cloudy, foul-smelling urine, bladder pressure), see your healthcare provider who will prescribe an antibiotic for the infection. In addition, use some of the home remedies to help the pressure on the bladder.

2. Take analgesic

Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen, aspirin and ibuprofen can help relieve the pain and inflammation which will help with the bladder pressure.

3. Drink cranberry juice

Cranberry juice is believed to fight urinary tract infections that are a leading cause of pressure on the bladder. The active ingredients in cranberry juice are not destroyed by the digestive process so can fight against bacteria in the urine.

4. Drink water

Drink plenty of water each day. Unless you have a medical condition that prohibits you from drinking water, try to take in at least 8 glasses of water each day. This will help flush harmful bacteria out of your bladder.

5. Avoid bladder-irritating drinks

On the other hand, try to avoid or limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine and other citrus juices that may irritate your bladder.

6. Use heat pads

A heating pad or moist warm compress on your lower abdomen may help to relieve spasms that may be causing the pressure on your bladder.

7. Prevent future bladder infection

As with other health problems, prevention is the best treatment for bladder infections and pressure on the bladder. Some preventative home remedies include:

  • Drink enough water. Drink plenty of water every day -- even if you do not have any signs of infection or bladder pressure.
  • Use the right feminine products. If you are a woman, do not use douches, vaginal sprays, or powders. Research seems to indicate that using tampons may make bladder infections more likely. Use sanitary napkins instead. If you must use tampons, be sure to change them frequently.
  • Empty the bladder after sex. After sexual intercourse, be sure to empty your bladder and wash your genital region to ensure that bacteria are not left where they can infect your urinary tract. Drink water immediately after sex.
  • Do not hold the urge to urinate. Empty your bladder when you begin to feel the urge. Allowing your bladder to stay full provides a perfect breeding ground for growth of bacteria.
  • Shower instead of taking a bath. A bathtub full of warm water is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The soap in the tub washes away your urinary tract's mucous that normally protects you from UTI.
  • Wear comfortable underwear. Comfortable, loose-fitting cotton underwear will prevent urethral irritation and trapping of bacteria next to the urethra. This will help minimize your chances of UTI and pressure on the bladder.
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