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Diagnostic Tests for Painful urination

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Painful urination causes:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Painful urination:

Diagnostic tests that help identify other conditions include urinalysis, urine culture, cystoscopy, biopsy of the bladder wall, urine cytology, and, in men, laboratory examination of prostate secretions. The most important test to confirm IC is a cystoscopy under anesthesia.

Urinalysis and Urine Culture
These tests can detect and identify the most common organisms that infect the urine and that may cause symptoms similar to IC. There are, however, organisms such as Chlamydiathat cannot be detected with these tests, so a negative culture does not rule out all types of infection. A urine sample is obtained either by catheterization or by the "clean catch" method. For a clean catch, the patient washes the genital area before collecting urine "midstream" in a sterile container. White and red blood cells and bacteria in the urine may indicate an infection of the urinary tract, which can be treated with an antibiotic. If urine is sterile for weeks or months while symptoms persist, the doctor may consider a diagnosis of IC.

Culture of Prostate Secretions
In men, the doctor will obtain prostatic fluid and examine it for signs of an infection, which can then be treated with antibiotics.

Cystoscopy Under Anesthesia with Bladder Distention
During cystoscopy, the doctor uses a cystoscope--an instrument made of a hollow tube about the diameter of a drinking straw with several lenses and a light--to see inside the bladder and urethra. The doctor will also distend or stretch the bladder to its capacity by filling it with a liquid or gas. Because bladder distention is painful in patients with IC, they must be given either regional or general anesthesia before the doctor inserts the cystoscope. These tests can detect bladder wall inflammation; a thick, stiff bladder wall; and Hunner's ulcers. Glomerulations are usually seen only after the bladder has been stretched to capacity.

The doctor may also test the patient's maximum bladder capacity--the amount of liquid or gas the bladder can hold under anesthesia. Without anesthesia, capacity is limited by either pain or a severe urge to urinate. Many people with IC have normal or large maximum bladder capacities under anesthesia. However, a small bladder capacity under anesthesia helps support the diagnosis of IC.


A biopsy is a tissue sample that is then examined under a microscope. Samples of the bladder and urethra may be removed during a cystoscopy and later examined with a microscope. A biopsy helps confirm inflammation and rule out bladder cancer. (Source: excerpt from Interstitial Cystitis: NIDDK)

When you have a urinary problem, your doctor may use a cystoscope to see the inside of your bladder and urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The cystoscope has lenses like a telescope or microscope. These lenses let the doctor focus on the inner surfaces of the urinary tract. Some cystoscopes use optical fibers (flexible glass fibers) that carry an image from the tip of the instrument to a viewing piece at the other end. The cystoscope is as thin as a pencil and has a light at the tip. Many cystoscopes have extra tubes to guide other instruments for procedures to treat urinary problems (Source: excerpt from Cystoscopy and Ureteroscopy: NIDDK)

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Painful urination:

The following list of conditions have 'Painful urination' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Painful urination:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Painful urination' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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