Possible Causes of Pelvic Pain

Bladder Infection

One of the most common bladder complaints, a bladder infection occurs when bacteria inflames the urinary tract, the bladder, and, in severe cases, the kidneys. Each year more than 7 million office visits to doctors are due to symptoms related to the bladder, says Tamara G. Bavendam, M.D., associate professor of urology and director of female urology at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Most bladder infections, often nicknamed "honeymoonitis," result from bacteria entering the urethra and bladder during sex.

"I can't count how many I've had myself," says one East Coast physician. "About the only thing you can do to prevent them is go to the bathroom after each episode of sexual intercourse."

Symptoms: Bladder infections often cause the urge to urinate frequently, and sometimes urination is accompanied by a burning sensation.

Diagnosis: A urinalysis or culture taken by a family physician generally reveals the condition.

Treatment: Antibiotics eliminate most bladder infections.

Continued on page 5:  Pelvic Inflammatory Disease