What is neurogenic bladder?
Your bladder is where urine is stored until you're ready to urinate (pee).
Neurogenic bladder is lack of bladder control caused by problems with the nerves that go to your bladder.
Your bladder may fill up and overflow so that urine dribbles out
You may feel the urge to urinate even when your bladder isn't full
Doctors often have you empty your bladder with a catheter several times a day
Sometimes medicine helps
Getting treatment right away helps prevent kidney damage
Some nerve problems keep your bladder muscles from contracting normally. Then your bladder fills up with urine and you leak urine. When you urinate, your bladder doesn't empty all the way.
Other nerve problems make your bladder muscles contract too much or at the wrong time. Then you may urinate too often and sometimes urinate when you don't want to.
What causes neurogenic bladder?
Spinal cord damage or injury
ALS Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Your muscles move when your brain sends a signal to them through your nerves. Motor neurons are the nerves that send your muscles the signals to move. Signals travel from the brain through your... read more (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often called Lou Gehrig disease)
Diabetic neuropathy (damage to your nerves caused by diabetes Diabetes Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. You get diabetes if your body's normal way of controlling blood sugar isn't working right. There are 2 types of... read more )
Nerve damage caused by pelvic surgery
What are the symptoms of neurogenic bladder?
The main symptom is not being able to control when you urinate (incontinence Urinary Incontinence in Adults Urinary incontinence is urinating (peeing) without meaning to. Incontinence can be a little dribbling or leaking a lot of urine You may have incontinence all the time, only at night, or only... read more ). With neurogenic bladder you may constantly pass small amounts of urine.
Other symptoms include:
Needing to urinate often and urgently, including at night
Neurogenic bladder increases your risk of:
Kidney problems from urine backing up into your kidneys
How can doctors tell if I have neurogenic bladder?
Doctors suspect neurogenic bladder if you're having problems controlling urination. They'll use ultrasound or a catheter to measure how much urine is still in your bladder after you urinate. Doctors also do tests such as:
Blood tests to check kidney function
If it looks like you have neurogenic bladder, doctors may then do more specialized bladder tests.
How do doctors treat neurogenic bladder?
If your bladder fills up and won't empty properly, doctors will have you:
Use a catheter to empty your bladder several times a day
The catheter lets urine drain all the way. You use the catheter before your bladder fills up so much that you leak urine. Doctors prefer not to leave a catheter in all the time. It's better to put it in and then take it right out after the urine drains.
If your bladder contracts at the wrong times, doctors may use:
Bladder training and relaxation techniques
Doctors will have you drink plenty of fluids during the day, so you don't get kidney stones Stones in the Urinary Tract (Kidney Stones) Your urinary tract includes: Kidneys, two bean-shaped organs that make urine Ureters, the tubes that drain urine from each kidney to your bladder Bladder, a hollow organ that holds urine until... read more .
They'll check to make sure your kidneys are working well.