Section V. DISORDERS INVOLVING THE BLADDER
3-18. GENERAL INFORMATION
a. Injury to the bladder is uncommon; nevertheless, it may occur. A full bladder
lies in an unprotected position in the lower abdomen. A blow to the lower abdomen can
rupture the bladder, making immediate surgical repair necessary. Such injury typically
occurs in traffic accidents.
b. Another type of injury that may cause bladder disorders is injury to the spinal
cord. Injury to the spinal cord may severely disrupt bladder filling and emptying.
The most common causes of such injuries are motorcycle accidents, automobile
accidents, and bullet wounds. If the nerves controlling the bladder are damaged in such
injuries, the result may be either incontinence or urinary retention.
a. Definition/Signs/Symptoms of Cystitis. Inflammation of the bladder, called
cystitis, is ten times as frequent in women as in men. Part of the reason may be that
the female urethra is very short compared to the urethra of the male. Bacteria (for
example, colon bacilli) ascend from the outside through the urethra into the bladder
causing cystitis. The most common symptoms of cystitis are pain, urgency (a feeling of
needing to void although the bladder is not full), and frequency of urination.
b. Interstitial Cystitis. Interstitial cystitis is a type of cystitis in which the tissues
below the mucosa are inflamed. Symptoms include pelvic pain with discomfort before
and after urination. This disease can be diagnosed only with the use of a cystoscope (a
kind of endoscope).
c. Etiology of Cystitis. Causes of cystitis can be traced to the following:
(1) Bladder infection caused by the infecting organism ascending through the
urethra. Such infections are more common in females, especially after intercourse. In
males, cystitis is less common than prostatis and urethritis.
Inadequate bladder emptying (urinary retention, dehydration, or outlet
d. Signs and Symptoms of Cystitis. Included are the following:
Frequent, burning, urgency to urinate even when the bladder is not full.
Cloudy urine caused by the presence of bacteria in the urine.