Painful Bladder Specialist

Allure Medical Spa and Laser Center

John W. Spurlock, M.D.

Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery & Laser Aesthetics located in Bethlehem, PA

When your bladder or pelvis hurts, or you have sudden urges to urinate, you may have a condition known as painful bladder. John W. Spurlock, MD, FACOG, medical director of Allure Medical Spa and Laser Center draws on his extensive experience in female pelvic disorders to give you relief from painful bladder. If you live in the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, area and are experiencing pelvic discomfort, urinary urgency, or frequent urination, contact Dr. Spurlock today. You can call to make an appointment or use the online booking tool.

Painful Bladder Q & A

What is a painful bladder?

Painful bladder, also called interstitial cystitis, is a condition in which the lining and wall of your bladder become inflamed.


What are the symptoms of interstitial cystitis?

Symptoms vary and may change over time. You may have interstitial cystitis if you feel tenderness, pain, or discomfort in your pelvic area, lower abdomen, or bladder. Other symptoms include:

  • An urgent need to urinate
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Pain during menstruation
  • Pain during intercourse

If your symptoms interfere with your quality of life, contact Dr. Spurlock at Allure Medical Spa and Laser Center for an evaluation.


What causes painful bladder?

Researchers don’t know what causes painful bladder. Some women notice that certain foods or drinks may trigger their pain. Common triggers include:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Foods high in acid (citrus, tomatoes)
  • Foods high in histamines (chocolate, avocados)
  • Additives (artificial sweeteners, MSG, nitrates, nitrites)
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Gluten

If you think your diet may exacerbate your symptoms, Dr. Spurlock may recommend you keep a food diary to eliminate possible triggers and see if your condition improves. If so, you could try slowly adding back one trigger at a time, and monitor your reaction. Your results can help Dr. Spurlock formulate a treatment plan that works best for you.


What treatments are available for painful bladder?

After Dr. Spurlock rules out other possible causes for your pain, he may recommend dietary changes, meditation, and other stress-relief techniques to relax your bladder. Bladder training and physical therapy can help, too. Dr. Spurlock may also perform a bladder instillation.

A bladder instillation is a very effective treatment for painful bladder that quiets down the inflammation in your bladder wall and lining. During the treatment, Dr. Spurlock fills your bladder with a medicated solution. Medications in the solution are tailored for your needs and might include:

  • Heparin
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Alkalinized lidocaine
  • Bupivacaine
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Pentosan polysulfate

You hold the solution in your bladder for up to 15 minutes so that it coats and soothes your bladder wall and lining. Dr. Spurlock then removes the solution with a catheter.  


How many bladder instillations do I need?

Most women require a series of daily or weekly instillations. Dr. Spurlock tailors the treatment plan according to your needs.

To get relief from painful bladder, contact Dr. Spurlock today. Call his understanding team at Allure Medical Spa and Laser Center or use the online form.