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, and sometimes surgery (your pediatric surgeon at Nicklaus Children Hospital will discuss with you the various options available).


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 9/4/2018 3:22:39 PM

From the Newsdesk

Pediatric Neurosurgeon and Chief of Surgery for Nicklaus Children’s Passes Away
The medical staff, employees and volunteers of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital mourn the passing of our esteemed Dr. Sanjiv Bhatia, a longstanding leader and dedicated champion for children with complex medical conditions and their families.
Medical Mission to Algeria Helps Children in Need of Spinal Surgeries
A group of children in Algeria who underwent complex surgeries as part of a 2016 U.S.-sponsored medical mission have many reasons to celebrate, and can do so with better movement of their limbs.