What You Need to Know About Bladder Health and Pain

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Bladder Health Awareness Month

Millions of people each year are affected by bladder health concerns. November is Bladder Health Awareness Month, an initiative designed to encourage us all to take an active role in managing our bladder health and to learn how to better manage bladder pain. From urinary tract and bladder infections to overactive bladders to incontinence to bladder cancer, people around the United States face urgent and painful problems that come with substantial costs: an estimated $70 billion per year.

These costs are far from the only price those of us with bladder health problems pay. Our everyday lives are disrupted and inconvenienced, we are often faced with a wide range of pain levels and our loved ones don’t always know how to best support us or help us manage our care. Let’s look at some facts about common bladder health problems and how to take a more active role in our bladder health.

Bladder Health Awareness Month

Bladder health stats

  • Bladder infections are the most common type of urinary tract infection.
  • 1 in 5 women will have at least one urinary tract infection in her lifetime.
  • Nearly 20% of women who have a urinary tract infection will have another. 30% of those will have yet another. Of this last group, 80% will have recurrences.
  • Over 8 million office visits and more than 1 million hospitalizations for urinary tract infections each year add up to overall annual cost close to $1 billion.
  • Approximately 55,000 men and 17,000 women get bladder cancer in the United States each year.
  • Approximately 11,000 men and 5,000 women die from the disease in the United States each year.
  • Bladder cancer has the highest recurrence rate of all cancers.
    Bladder cancer has the highest cost of healthcare delivery per patient compared to all other malignancies.
  • Overactive bladder affects 33 million Americans.
  • Stress urinary incontinence impacts 1/3 of all women under 60 and 1/2 of all women over 65.

Bladder and urinary tract infections

From November 1-10, Bladder Health Awareness Month is highlighting bladder and urinary tract infections.

Bladder Health Awareness Month

Condition fast facts: 

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can impact any and all parts of your urinary tract system: your kidneys, your bladder or your urethra. They’re caused when bacteria gets into your urine and travels up to your bladder. Most UTIs occur in the lower urinary tract and affect the bladder and urethra.

Women are more likely to get a UTI than men. When men do get a UTI, they are more likely to be recurring since bacteria can hide inside the prostate.

Pain fast facts: 

UTIs cause irritation and pain in your pelvic area. The lining of the bladder and urethra become red and irritated. UTIs are also likely to make you feel as if you have to urinate more frequently, but you may experience a burning sensation when you do. You may only be able to urinate a few drops, and your urine may smell bad or look cloudy.

Kidney infections often cause you have to have a fever or to experience back pain. It’s important that they are treated immediately, as they can quickly spread into the bloodstream.

Neurogenic bladder and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome

November 1-10 is also dedicated to highlighting neurogenic bladder and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome.

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