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Last Updated on May 16, 2024

Abdominal pain is no fun. But when the discomfort settles right above your pubic bone it is too loud to ignore it. This pain, known as suprapubic pain, can feel like a dull ache or a sharp jab, leaving you wondering – what’s going on down there?

It is a common symptom that can be caused by a variety of conditions, including bladder pain syndrome. In this article, we will explore the causes of suprapubic pain, discuss its connection to interstitial cystitis, and suggest treatments for relief.

Amidst the discomfort, Revive Research Institute is at the forefront for conducting Interstitial Cystitis Clinical Trials to find potential new treatments and help women suffering from this condition.

Suprapubic Pain: What Is It?

Suprapubic pain refers to discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen, specifically below the umbilicus (belly button) and above the pubic bone. This type of pain can be dull, sharp, constant, or intermittent, and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as urinary urgency, frequency, or pelvic pressure.

Why Do Women Experience Suprapubic Pain?

Suprapubic pain in women due to several reasons but they typically stem from menstruation or condition impacting the ovaries and female reproductive system. Some of which include:

Urinary tract infection (UTI):

UTIs are the fifth most prevalent form of healthcare-associated infection. It is a bacterial infection that commonly causes a burning sensation during urination, and suprapubic pain.

Also Read: Bladder Infection vs UTI: Delving Deep Into the Crevices

Interstitial cystitis:

Interstitial cystitis, also known as bladder pain syndrome, is a condition characterized by discomfort in the bladder region. It is a significant cause of suprapubic pain. It occurs when the bladder fails to properly communicate with the brain regarding its fullness and the need for emptying.

Menstrual Cramps:

Suprapubic pain is a prevalent occurrence during menstruation. It often manifests as discomfort in one or both sides of the lower abdomen, just above the pubic region. This discomfort arises as the uterus readies itself to shed its lining in the menstrual cycle.

Ovarian Torsion:

Ovarian torsion is a condition that occurs when the ovaries become twisted. This condition potentially obstructs blood flow to them. The twisting of the ovaries results in sharp and severe pain.

Ovarian Cysts:

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop within or near the ovaries. Typically, they are benign and may not always induce discomfort. However, if they expand or rupture, they can lead to intense pain.


This condition involves uterine tissue growing outside uterus leading to pelvic pain, including suprapubic discomfort during menstruation or ovulation.

Also Read: Endometriosis Flare Ups and How to Cope With Them

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID):

It is an infection affecting the female reproductive system, encompassing organs such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and vagina. That is caused by sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. It causes intense suprapubic pain, along with abnormal vaginal discharge.


During pregnancy, it’s common to experience pelvic and suprapubic discomfort as the uterus and surrounding tissues expand. In later stages of pregnancy, suprapubic pain could signify the onset of labor. It coupled with bleeding can indicate serious issues such as miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

Symptoms Of Suprapubic Pain

  • Dull, aching pain in the lower abdomen
  • Pressure or discomfort above the pubic bone
  • Increased pain during urination or bowel movements
  • Urinary urgency or frequency
  • Painful intercourse
  • Blood in urine
  • Pelvic pain that worsens with certain activities or positions

Diagnosing Suprapubic Pain Due To Interstitial Cystitis

Diagnosing the underlying cause of suprapubic pain typically involves a combination of tests conducted by a healthcare provider. This may include:

  • Medical history: Patients may be asked for their symptoms, fluid intake, and urination frequency.
  • Urinalysis: A urine sample is examined for signs of infection, such as blood or white blood cells.
  • Biopsy: A tissue sample of the bladder wall and urethra is examined to rule out other conditions like bladder cancer.
  • Cystoscopy: The bladder is examined using a cystoscope inserted through the urethra. This helps exclude bladder cancer.
  • Cystoscopy with hydrodistension under anesthesia: The bladder is stretched by filling it with water, revealing potential ulcers or cracks. This procedure requires anesthesia due to its painful nature.

How To Treat Suprapubic Pain Due To Interstitial Cystitis?

Treating suprapubic pain requires different approaches depending on the cause. The different approaches include:

  • Medications: Medicines like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to relieve pain and discomfort. Antispasmodics may also be prescribed to relax the bladder and reduce urinary urgency.
  • Bladder Instillation Therapy: A procedure where medications are directly instilled into the bladder via a catheter to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms.
  • Physical Therapy: Pelvic floor physical therapy can help relieve pelvic pain and improve bladder function through targeted exercises and manual techniques.

Lifestyle Modifications

  • Avoiding bladder irritants such as caffeine, alcohol, and acidic foods
  • Practicing pelvic floor exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles
  • Stress management techniques like yoga or meditation

Also Read: A Guide to Interstitial Cystitis Self-Care

The Takeaway

Suprapubic pain can be a challenging symptom to deal with, but with the right diagnosis and treatment, relief is possible. By understanding the causes of suprapubic pain, including its connection to bladder pain syndrome, an individual can work with healthcare providers to develop a plan for managing their symptoms.

Wahiba Shakeel

A skilled professional with a strong foundation in Biosciences and a keen interest in research. Leveraging her marketing expertise, Wahiba is making a meaningful impact in the healthcare industry, bringing a fresh and unique perspective to the field.

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Revive Research Institute, Inc.

28270 Franklin Road
Southfield, MI

T: 248-564-1485