Localization of the urge to void in patients with painful bladder syndrome

Mary P. FitzGerald*, Kimberly S. Kenton, Linda Brubaker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Aims: Our aim was to describe the location of urinary urgency or bladder discomfort in patients with painful bladder syndrome (PBS) and controls. Methods: Patients with symptomatic diagnoses of PBS, overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome, stress urinary incontinence (SUI), and asymptomatic controls were asked to indicate the location of their urinary urge/urgency/discomfort on a body map. Results: We present results for 30 PBS patients, 25 OAB patients, 15 SUI patients, and 15 asymptomatic controls. In asymptomatic subjects and those with SUI, the urge to void was localized to the suprapubic region only. More than half (53%) of patients with PBS and a minority (20%) of those with OAB localized their urinary urgency/discomfort to both suprapubic and vulvar/urethral locations. Some patients with PBS also localized their urinary discomfort to other body sites including low back, upper and lateral buttocks, lower abdomen, and upper thighs. Conclusions: In most patients with PBS and some with OAB, complaints of bladder discomfort or urgency may refer to sensations that are localized at sites other than suprapubic. The etiology of widespread sensation may include an expansion of dermatomes of referral of bladder sensation, and/or the presence of associated somatic abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-637
Number of pages5
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2005


  • Lower urinary tract
  • Overactive bladder syndrome
  • Painful bladder syndrome
  • Urgency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Localization of the urge to void in patients with painful bladder syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this