What Are The Symptoms of a Neurogenic Bladder?
Urology Of Greater Atlanta
Neurogenic bladder is a term used to describe several different urinary conditions where a person has bladder control problems due to a brain, spinal cord, or nerve problem.
If you are experiencing incontinence symptoms, contact the board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta. We can provide state-of-the-art testing to identify the issue causing your incontinence and personalized treatment plans to restore normal bladder function.
Call our practice or schedule a consultation online today for expert incontinence treatments. We have multiple offices throughout Greater Atlanta for your convenience.
What Causes Neurogenic Bladder?
The urinary system is dependent on the function of the nerve messages between the brain and bladder muscles. The nerves communicate with the sphincter muscles, which control bladder emptying and prevent urine leakage, which is a common symptom of incontinence.
Diseases that affect your central nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis (MS), could be one possible cause. It could also be caused by birth defects in the brain or spinal cord, such as spina bifida.
A spinal cord injury could be another possibility. According to the American Urological Association, millions of Americans have Neurogenic Bladder.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Neurogenic Bladder?
Neurogenic bladder dysfunction symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- Incontinence with Overactive Bladder (OAB)
- Frequency in OAB
- Urinary Retention with Underactive Bladder
Symptoms may vary from person to person, depending on the type of nerve damage that is causing the condition. It’s even possible to have both an overactive and underactive bladder. This is especially true in those with MS, stroke, or herpes zoster.
Urinary Tract Infection
This is usually the first symptom that identifies a problem. Patients with an overactive or underactive bladder will likely have repeated urinary tract infections.
Incontinence with Overactive Bladder (OAB)
An overactive bladder is when the muscles that control the flow of urine contract more than normal. The contraction of the muscles may cause urine to leak before you are able to get to the bathroom, resulting in urinary incontinence.
An overactive bladder usually brings sudden and intense urges to empty your bladder. This may result in leaking urine. If you do leak urine, the amount can vary from just a few drops to a large volume. You may also leak urine while you sleep.
Frequency in OAB
OAB may also affect the frequency of your urge to use the bathroom. You may have this urge throughout both the day and the night. You may only urinate just a little each time you go. Many professionals would define high frequency as having to urinate more than 8 times in a 24-hour period.
Urinary Retention with Underactive Bladder
Patients with an underactive bladder may notice that their bladder doesn’t empty as it should. They may notice only a little urine comes out each time they go to the bathroom. When you cannot empty your bladder fully, this is also called urine retention.
How Is Neurogenic Bladder Diagnosed?
At Urology of Greater Atlanta, your healthcare provider may carry out one or more of the following diagnostic tests to determine whether you have a neurogenic bladder:
- Medical History
- Physical Exam
- Bladder Diary
- Pad Test
How Is a Neurogenic Bladder Treated?
Neurogenic bladder treatment is designed to relieve the symptoms of your bladder problems. The treatment options will depend on varying factors, such as the type and severity of your symptoms, your age, your health, and the cause of your nerve damage.
At Urology of Greater Atlanta, your doctor may first recommend some changes and exercises that you can try. They may include:
Limit your use of caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, and sodas because they can irritate the bladder. Limiting your alcohol use will also help.
“Quick Flick” Exercises
You can delay the “gotta go feeling” by contracting your pelvic floor muscles. Squeeze and contract several times for this to work.
Prompted voiding can help urge incontinence and overflow incontinence. This may involve increasing the delay before going to the bathroom or scheduling times to go through the day.
A catheter will not help treat neurogenic bladder; however, it can save you from embarrassing situations until the treatment begins to take effect. A catheter can be used all the time (continuous catheterization), or it can be used 4 to 6 times a day (intermittent catheterization).
Surgery is usually the last resort but may include urinary diversion, bladder augmentation, or an artificial sphincter.
A neurogenic bladder can be disruptive to your daily activities. It can cause urine leaking and frequent visits to the bathroom. However, you do not have to put up with the symptoms of a neurogenic bladder. There are many treatments available, including bladder training and surgery.
Contact Our Urinary Specialists
If you are experiencing incontinence symptoms, contact the board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta. We provide state-of-the-art testing to identify the issue causing your incontinence and personalized treatment plans to restore normal bladder function.
Call our practice today or schedule a consultation online for the quality care you’re looking for. We have multiple offices throughout Georgia for your convenience.