The urinary bladder is subject to anomalies, obstructions, inflammations, calculi, fistulae, and tumours.
Bladder dysfunction can result in either symptomatic or "silent" problems. Examples of symptomatic problems are urinary incontinence, urinary frequency, pain, difficulty voiding, and urinary retention. The silent problems can cause very significant damage to the kidneys and ureters and to the bladder itself. The diverse entities of urinary incontinence, painful bladder (including interstitial cystitis), intractable urinary frequency and urgency, total inability to urinate (urinary retention), abnormal voiding caused by neurologic disease, and abnormal kidney and ureteral function are all common examples of the results of bladder dysfunction.
The bladder is a complex, integrated organ that normally collects and stores urine at low pressure, keeps urine free from infection, senses the presence of urine only when it reaches a specific volume, and allows all the stored urine to empty (void) in a controlled manner. When one specific bladder function is disrupted, the other functions are disturbed.
In the USA, over 4 million people experience bladder disorders.