The bladder is a sac that temporarily stores urine. Strong muscles surrounding it keep the opening closed until you experience an urge to urinate. The emptying of the bladder is controlled by nerves. When the bladder fills, nerves send a message to the brain, which in turn signals the bladder muscles to relax and release urine. Neurogenic bladder is characterized by poor bladder control due to nerve damage, causing problems either in sending or receiving these signals. The condition is associated with congenital neurological problems or an injury/infection of the brain or spinal cord.
The signs of neurogenic bladder include difficulty in holding or passing urine, urinary tract infections, swollen kidneys or thickened bladder wall.
If your child is suffering from brain or spinal cord diseases or injuries, your child’s doctor may suspect the presence of neurogenic bladder. Your child’s doctor may order urine tests, urodynamic examination and ultrasound scan to confirm on the diagnosis. You may also be asked to record your child’s pattern of voiding.
Treatment of neurogenic bladder depends on the cause of the condition. Maintaining a regular voiding pattern is recommended. Your doctor may prescribe medications to relax the bladder muscles and prevent muscle spasm. A catheter may be inserted to empty the bladder at regular intervals. In extreme cases, surgery may be performed to create another opening in the abdomen for the insertion of a catheter, enlarge the bladder or tighten the muscles to retain urine in the bladder.