Neurogenic Bladder

Also known as: neurogenic bladder dysfunction.

What is neurogenic bladder?

Neurogenic bladder means the bladder of a baby/child doesn't empty properly because of problems with the brain, spinal cord or nerves that control bladder function, essentially paralyzing it.

What causes neurogenic bladder?

In babies/children a neurogenic bladder typically results from either a birth defect or from damage occurring later in childhood. Common causes include Spina bifida (a congenital abnormality of the spinal cord), spinal injury (for example from a motor vehicle accident) or from central nervous system or pelvic tumors.

What are the symptoms of neurogenic bladder?

Symptoms generally include, urinary incontinence -urine leakage (dribbling of urine), loss of sensation of a full bladder with difficulty releasing urine, a need to urinate frequently, and passing small urine volumes during voiding. Symptoms may also include those of a urinary tract infection or kidney stones.

What are neurogenic bladder care options?

While there is no cure for a neurogenic bladder, multiple treatment options include:

  • “Timed urination” to prevent voiding accidents and protect the kidneys
  • Inserting a thin tube (catheter), intermittently or permanently (indwelling catheter) into the bladder to empty it.
  • Medications to help relax the bladder
  • Antibiotics to reduce the chance, or treat a urinary tract infection, insertion of an artificial cuff in the bladder to prevent leakage
  • In some cases surgery might be necessary

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: September 09, 2020 11:23 AM