Common Bladder Problems

Your bladder is a sac-like structure near the bottom of the abdomen. Its major function is act as a storage area for urine until it can be expelled. It has a waterproof skin which medical professionals call the transitional cell epithelium.

Urine comes to the bladder from the kidneys through tubes called ureters. It is eliminated through a tube leading outside the body called the urethra.

A normal adult bladder contains about 400 milliliters of urine.

As people grow older, bladder problems become more common. It can become more of a challenge to control the bladder. This sometimes results in a condition known as incontinence. Incontinence can also happen when there is a disease or some other problem. There are many different bladder control products available commercially that help people who suffer from incontinence.

Other Common Bladder Problems

Bladder Cancer - There are several kinds of bladder cancer. The kind that happens most often originates in the lining of the cells inside of the bladder. This type is called urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC) or transitional cell carcinoma (TCC).

Bladder infection - This is a bacterial infection that can happen in any part of the urinary tract. Although a bladder infection can be very uncomfortable, it's fairly easy to treat and can be cured quickly if treated properly.

Overactive bladder - This is a condition that results from a sudden, involuntary contraction of the muscle in the wall of the urinary bladder. Overactive bladder triggers an urgent and unstoppable need to urinate. OA is also known as urge incontinence and is a type of urinary incontinence or unintentional loss of urine.

Bladder Stones - Bladder stones are crystalline masses that originate from minerals and proteins which naturally occur in urine. They are much less common than kidney stones.

Bladder Spasms - A bladder spasm may also be called bladder instability. Under normal circumstances bladder muscles are relaxed and only go into action when you urinate. But when the bladder is unstable, it sometimes contracts suddenly and unexpectedly. This contraction is commonly known as a bladder spasm.

Bladder Prolapse - Also called cystoceles. It is more often called a fallen bladder or prolapsed bladder. It happens in women when the front wall of the vagina, which supports the bladder, weakens or loosens. The bladder may then start to slip into the vagina. There are four different stages, but the basic result can be urinary difficulties, discomfort, and stress incontinence (which is urine leakage caused by sneezing, coughing, exertion, or some other physical condition).

Enuresis (more commonly called bed wetting) - Enuresis is, simply put, involuntary urination, usually during sleep. This is more common in children and usually doesn't occur as the child gets older. However, repeated enuresis can be a sign or symptom other physical or emotional problems.

Paruresis - Paruresis is a condition that is also called shy bladder, shy kidney, or bashful bladder. Both genders can suffer from paruresis, which is a type of social anxiety disorder in which the sufferer is unable to urinate when others are within earshot, typically somewhere like a public restroom.

For more information on topics related to this article, click on Losing Bladder Control.

George McKenzie is a retired TV anchor, medical reporter and radio talk show host. He is a frequent contributor to Bladder Problems, a resource site about health and wellness.

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