The muscles and nerves that are present in the urinary system work together to release and hold urine at an accurate time. Nerves carry messages between the bladder and the spinal cord & brain. The messages let the muscles of the bladder to either tighten or release.
These nerves don’t work the way they should when neurogenic bladder is caused.
What causes neurogenic bladder?
These are some of the possible causes of neurogenic bladder which are mentioned below:
- Accidents which cause injury to the brain or spinal cord
- Genetic nerve problems
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Birth defects that effect the spinal cord
- Brain or spinal cord tumors
How is neurogenic bladder diagnosed?
If your doctor thinks that you are having neurogenic bladder, he or she will want to check your brain, spinal cord, and bladder. He or she will review your health history and do a physical exam. Other tests may include:
- X-rays of the skull and spine - This imaging test uses invisible energy beams to make images of tissues, bones, and organs.
- Imaging tests of the bladder and ureters
- Ultrasound (sonography) - This is an imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the organs on a computer screen.
- Cystoscopy - Your doctor puts a thin, flexible tube and viewing device in through the urethra to examine the urinary tract. It tests for structure changes or blockages, such as tumors or stones.
- Tests that involve filling the bladder like urodynamics - These tests depicts how much the bladder can hold and examine to see if it fully empties.
What are the symptoms of neurogenic bladder?
Below are some of the most common symptoms of neurogenic bladder:
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Kidney stones
- Urinary incontinence (unable to control urine)
- Small urine volume during voiding
- Urinary frequency and urgency
- Dribbling urine
Some of the symptoms of neurogenic bladder may look like other conditions. Always talk with your doctor for a diagnosis.
How is neurogenic bladder treated?
Treatment for neurogenic bladder depends on the cause. It is focused at preventing kidney damage and can include:
- Draining the bladder with a catheter at regular times
- Preventive antibiotics to reduce infection
- Putting an artificial cuff around the neck of the bladder which can be inflated to hold urine and deflated to release it
- Surgery to remove stones or blockages
- Botox injections into the bladder muscle
- Putting an electrical device to stimulate or slow down bladder activity