Neurogenic Bladder occurs when a brain, nerve or spinal cord condition affects the ability to control the bladder.
In order to hold urine in the bladder, several nerves and muscles must work. If the nerves become damaged, the patient will no longer be able to adequately control the muscles that hold urine.
Many neurological disorders cause neurogenic bladder, including:
- Spinal Cord Abnormalities
- Cerebral Palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
Neurogenic bladder can result in the bladder being either over- or under-active.
Symptoms of overactive bladder include:
- Urinating often, in small amounts
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Loss of bladder control
Symptoms of underactive bladder include:
- Urine leakage
- Inability to start urinating or empty the bladder
- Urine retention
- Inability to tell when the bladder is full.
Treatment consists largely of medication and bladder training. Kegel exercises help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and keeping a diary of urinary events assist in forming a routine.
If Neurogenic Bladder becomes debilitating, a catheter may be inserted into the bladder to drain urine. The catheter could be in place continuously or may be placed 4 - 6 times a day, when it is necessary to drain the urine.
There are surgical options to treat neurogenic bladder. These include placing an artificial sphincter to control the bladder, implanting an electric device to control the muscles, sling surgery or creating an opening to allow urine to flow into a special pouch.