Clinical manifestation, diagnosis and treatment of bladder pain syndrome: literature review

Augustina Zaveriuchaitė1, Geistė Tubutytė1

1 Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania


Background. Bladder pain syndrome (BPS) is a chronic disorder with unknown aetiology characterized by bladder pain and associated with urination frequency of more than 10 times per day. The treatment of this disease is complicated and requires a multi-disciplinary approach.

Aim. To review and summarize the clinical, diagnostic and treatment features of bladder pain syndrome.

Materials and methods. The search of literature was conducted in the international database PubMed. Keywords such as ,,bladder pain syndrome“, ,,interstitial cystitis“, ,,treatment“, ,,diagnostics‘‘ and their combinations were used. 756 articles were ruled out due to their title and abstract non-compliance to our subject. 90 articles were fully read and 70 of them, published in English language in the period of 2000-2021 were included to this review.

Results. According to the International Society for the Study of Bladder Pain Syndrome (ESSIC), to diagnose this syndrome the duration of symptoms should be no less than 6 months and without other possible explanation. In 2021 the guidelines of BPS treatment were introduced by the European Association of Urology (EAU).

Conclusions. Symptoms such as pelvic pain, pressure, discomfort, nocturia, dyspareunia, bladder spasms are characteristic for this disease. The EAU guidelines suggest making the diagnosis of BPS based on pain, pressure or discomfort perceived in the bladder region, accompanied by at least one other symptom and without any other possible explanation. There is currently no treatment to ensure a permanent improvement; hence the goal is to ameliorate patients‘ quality of life and decrease the manifestation of symptoms.


Keywords: bladder pain syndrome, interstitial cystitis,  treatment of bladder pain syndrome.