What Is Trigonitis? A Complete Guide

Medically Reviewed By Roger Bielinski, MD

Trigonitis is inflammation in the base of the bladder, known as the trigone. A bladder infection or cell changes called squamous metaplasia can cause it. The trigone is a smooth, triangular area of the bladder that connects to the ureters. The ureters are the tubes that allow urine to pass from the kidneys into the bladder.

Inflammation in the trigone can lead to pelvic pain and overactive bladder symptoms. Often, it occurs due to bladder infection.

Effective treatment may help address the underlying cause and alleviate symptoms.

This article discusses trigonitis, including its symptoms, causes, treatment, and outlook.

Symptoms of trigonitis

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Symptoms of trigonitis can include:

  • deep pelvic or lower stomach pain
  • pain that may feel like a nagging, burning sensation that radiates down toward the genitals
  • pain that worsens when urinating
  • pain during sex
  • symptoms of overactive bladder, such as:
    • having more or urgent urges to urinate
    • needing to pass urine more frequently

Contact a doctor promptly for any symptoms of trigonitis.

Causes of trigonitis

Trigonitis often occurs from cystitis.

While trigonitis is inflammation of the trigone in the bladder, cystitis is inflammation of the bladder in general, not any one specific part.

A bacterial infection usually causes cystitis, so it can be a type of urinary tract infection (UTI). Bacteria may get into the bladder via:

  • sexual contact
  • wiping after going to the toilet, especially if wiping from back to front
  • using a tampon
  • using a contraceptive diaphragm
  • having a urinary catheter

Recurring UTIs may particularly contribute to trigonitis.

Noninfectious causes of cystitis can include Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source :

Learn more about cystitis and UTIs, including their causes and risk factors.

However, some cases of trigonitis, such as pseudomembranous trigonitis, may develop in different ways.

Pseudomembranous trigonitis

Pseudomembranous trigonitis is a type of trigonitis that occurs Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source from cell changes rather than inflammation. These cell changes are known as nonkeratinizing squamous metaplasia. They are not cancerous.

Researchers believe hormone changes or imbalances contribute to pseudomembranous trigonitis. The condition is relatively common in females. It often occurs during the reproductive years.

Some cases of pseudomembranous trigonitis are also linked to bacterial cystitis and recurring UTIs.

Diagnosing trigonitis

Doctors start by asking about your symptoms and medical history. Then, they may order tests to help identify or rule out possible explanations, including Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source :

  • blood tests
  • urine tests
  • cystoscopy, which involves inserting a thin tube with a camera into the urethra and up to the bladder
  • biopsy, which involves taking a sample of bladder tissue for examination

Treatment options for trigonitis

Treatment approaches for trigonitis depend on the underlying cause and your symptoms.

The main treatment Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source for cystitis is antibiotic medication for bacterial infections.

Other possible treatment options for trigonitis include Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source :

  • laser coagulation, which uses a laser to destroy unusual cell growth and stop recurring infection
  • electrofulguration, which, like laser coagulation, uses electrical currents to destroy unusual cell growth and stop recurring infection
  • medications provided via a catheter

Pseudomembranous trigonitis treatment can include Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source :

  • antibiotics
  • sodium hyaluronate (Cystistat, Hyacyst) medication to help heal and protect a layer of the bladder

Management approaches for trigonitis

Self-care approaches to help alleviate symptoms can include:

  • staying hydrated with fluids
  • placing a hot water bottle or warm compress over the pelvis
  • talking with a doctor about whether you may benefit from avoiding sex until you’re recovered
  • asking a doctor or pharmacist about over-the-counter or prescription medications for pain relief or inflammation

Outlook of trigonitis

The outlook for people with trigonitis varies.

Short-term cases may get better quickly Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source with treatment. However, trigonitis can be long term. In these cases, you may need multiple rounds of treatment.

For the best outcome, take any prescribed antibiotics exactly as your doctor’s advises. Not finishing your antibiotics, even if you start to feel better, or taking them incorrectly can increase Trusted Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Governmental authority Go to source the risk of antibiotic resistance and reduce antibiotics’ effectiveness.

Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about your treatment or outlook.

Summary

Trigonitis is the inflammation of the part of the bladder known as the trigone. It can occur due to hormonal changes or cystitis. Cystitis can develop from a bacterial infection or bladder irritation.

Symptoms of trigonitis can include pelvic pain that radiates downward, increased or urgent need to urinate, and nausea.

Treatment can depend on the underlying cause but often includes antibiotics for bacterial infection.

Talk with a doctor if you have any trigonitis symptoms. A doctor can make a diagnosis and prescribe treatments to help you start feeling better.

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Medical Reviewer: Roger Bielinski, MD
Last Review Date: 2024 Jan 19
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