Neurogenic bladder is a condition where a person is unable to control their bladder due to a brain, spinal cord, or nerve problem. There are a variety of potential causes of neurogenic bladder, including:
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Infection of the brain
- Infection of the spinal cord
- Major pelvic surgery
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Spinal cord injury
- Spina bifida (condition in which the spinal cord doesn’t properly develop)
Signs and symptoms of neurogenic bladder vary depending on the underlying condition that is causing the problem. Signs and symptoms can include:
- Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Incontinence (leaking urine and not being able to control urine)
- Increased urinary frequency, urgency, or overactive bladder
- Needing to urinate many times overnight
- Not being able to empty the bladder fully
- Only being able to produce a dribble of urine at a time
Your urologist may recommend that you make certain lifestyle modifications – such as scheduling urination and adjusting your diet – to try to reduce symptoms related to neurogenic bladder.
Your doctor may prescribe medicines that can help decrease the bothersome symptoms of neurogenic bladder.
In more extreme cases of this condition, your urologist may recommend you undergo a surgical procedure – such as placing an artificial sphincter (artificial device that is implanted to help regulate the flow of urine), placing a urinary diversion (surgical procedure that reroutes urine from its usual path when a condition prevents the normal flow of urine), or doing a bladder augmentation (surgical procedure to increase the capacity of the bladder) – to help control your neurogenic bladder.
Your urologist will perform a comprehensive physical exam – including gathering a medical history – in order to diagnose neurogenic bladder.
Your urologist may ask you to keep a bladder diary, in which you will record each time you use the restroom during the day and how often you leak urine.
In this test, you will wear a special pad in your underwear that changes color when you leak urine. This helps your urologist learn more about your bladder-leaking problem.
Your urologist may order a urine culture to check for infection or blood related to your neurogenic bladder problems.
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