Bladder problems

Radiation therapy to the abdomen or pelvic area can irritate the bladder or, more often, the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body).

Possible bladder changes include:

  • some stinging when you pass urine
  • a little blood in the urine
  • needing to pass urine more often, especially at night
  • a weaker stream of urine than before
  • leaking urine, for example, when you cough or sneeze.

To help manage these side effects, drink plenty of fluids and avoid strong coffee, tea and alcohol. Let your treatment team know if you are experiencing bladder or urinary problems, as they will be able to suggest strategies and may recommend medicines. You can also call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66.


This information was last reviewed in December 2017
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