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What causes Pressure on the Bladder When you Sit Down?

Causes of Pressure on the Bladder When Sitting Down

Are you experiencing uncomfortable pressure on your bladder when sitting down? If so, you’re not alone.

Many people face this issue occasionally, possibly due to several causes. Here are the top causes of pressure on the bladder when you sit down.

1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

UTIs are super common, affecting around 150 million people worldwide each year. That’s a lot of people! And the second fact is that the vast majority are women.

According to studies, Women are about 30 times more likely to get UTI than men, and about 40% of women develop UTI at some point in their life (reference).

If you’re dealing with a UTI, here’s what you might be feeling:

  • Pain or pressure on the bladder, especially when sitting down
  • A burning sensation during urination
  • The constant urge to go pee
  • Cloudy or strong-smelling urine

Don’t worry – UTIs are pretty treatable. Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics, and drinking lots of water and taking over-the-counter pain relievers is crucial to help alleviate the symptoms.

2. Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis, also known as painful bladder syndrome, is a long-lasting condition that leads to pressure and unease in the bladder while seated.

The condition affects about 1.1% of women and 0.66% of men in the USA (reference). It can be responsible for persistent or recurrent bladder discomfort or pressure sensation, particularly when you sit down or bend.

The precise origin of interstitial cystitis is unclear, but it could be related to a flaw in the bladder’s lining, immune system issues, or nerve irregularities.

Symptoms include:

  • Ongoing or intermittent pelvic discomfort
  • A constant need to urinate
  • Pain or unease as the bladder fills, often alleviated after urination
  • Discomfort during sexual activity

Your doctor follows an exclusion procedure to diagnose interstitial cystitis, eliminating other potential sources of symptoms such as urinary tract infections or bladder cancer.

They may conduct a physical examination, evaluate medical history, and perform tests like urinalysis, cystoscopy, or bladder biopsy.

3. Other Bladder Conditions

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones aren’t as common as UTIs, but they can still cause some discomfort in your bladder area when sitting down. If you have bladder stones, you might experience the following:

  • Lower abdominal pain or pressure, especially when sitting
  • Blood in your urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain during urination.
  • Passage of small stones.
  • Turbid urine.
  • Obstruction of urine flow.
  • Pain at the end of the duration (with bladder neck stones).

Bladder stones are diagnosed by imaging techniques such as pelvic ultrasound or X-ray.

Your doctor might recommend breaking them down with a procedure called lithotripsy or surgically removing them for larger stones.

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer can also cause pain or pressure in the lower abdomen. It typically affects older (more than 50) who smoke.

bladder cancer may or may not cause pain, but it may

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen
  • Blood in your urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain during urination

If you’re diagnosed with bladder cancer, treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy, depending on the stage and type of cancer.

Other Less Common Bladder Conditions

Other rare bladder conditions, such as cystitis or an overactive bladder, could cause discomfort when sitting. The symptoms and treatment for these conditions will vary depending on the specific diagnosis.

4. Non-urinary Conditions

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a pretty common condition that affects the large intestine. If you have IBS, you might experience:

  • Abdominal pain or pressure
  • Bloating and gas
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or alternating between the two.
  • Recurrent urinary symptoms are also common with patients with IBS, such as burning urination, bladder discomfort on pressure or sitting down, and lower back pain.

To diagnose IBS, your doctor depends on certain symptoms, such as recurrent abdominal pain and stool changes (the ROME IV criteria).

IBS is a functional gut disease that may affect your urinary symptoms. Its symptoms typically come and go (flare-ups and remissions).

Learn more about IBS and its relation to urinary symptoms.


Constipation can cause discomfort and pressure on the bladder, and some symptoms include infrequent bowel movements, hard or lumpy stools, straining during bowel movements, and abdominal bloating or discomfort.

Patients with severe constipation may feel pressure on their bladder when they sit down or bend forward (reference).

To manage constipation, it is recommended to increase fiber intake, stay hydrated, and engage in regular physical activity.

Excess Gas

Excess gas could also contribute to bladder pressure when sitting down. This might be caused by food intolerances or allergies, gastrointestinal infections, or inflammatory bowel disease.

Pregnancy and other pelvic conditions:

Pregnancy and certain gynecological conditions can contribute to bladder pressure sensation when you sit down.

As the uterus expands during pregnancy, it exerts additional pressure on your bladder, leading to more frequent urination and occasional distress. This pressure typically diminishes post-pregnancy.

Other gynecological factors causing bladder discomfort are endometriosis, fibroids, and pelvic organ prolapse. Endometriosis involves the uterine lining tissue growing outside the uterus, resulting in discomfort and inflammation.

Also, fibroids consist of noncancerous growths in or on the uterus, potentially causing bladder pressure. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when pelvic organs like the uterus or bladder shift from their usual position, causing distress and pressure.

For women with ongoing bladder unease, seeking medical advice is crucial. Timely diagnosis and treatment can relieve symptoms, enhance overall wellness, and avert potential complications.

Depending on the cause and severity, treatment options may encompass medications, physical therapy, or surgical intervention.

Diagnosis of the Cause of bladder pressure or discomfort

Getting an accurate diagnosis is essential if you’re experiencing bladder pressure when sitting down. A healthcare professional will:

  • Take your medical history and perform a physical examination
  • Order imaging tests (X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan) if needed
  • Request laboratory tests (urine, blood, or stool samples) if necessary
  • Perform a cystoscopy or colonoscopy in some cases

When to See a Doctor

If you experience any of the symptoms listed below, it’s advisable to seek medical advice:

  • Discomfort or pressure in the bladder that is not going away
  • Blood in urine or stool.
  • losing weight without trying or decreased appetite
  • Fever or shivering
  • Discomfort combined with other severe signs, like breathing difficulties or chest pain.

Keep in mind that it’s always preferable to exercise caution. If you have concerns about your symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare professional. They are there to assist you in identifying the issue and guiding you toward the right treatment.

To summarize, enduring bladder pressure while seated is not necessary.

By pinpointing the cause and pursuing the appropriate treatment, you can begin to enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle. Don’t delay—take charge of your well-being and schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider today.