Neurogenic bladder is a problem in which a person lacks bladder control due to a brain, spinal cord, or nerve condition.
Neurogenic detrusor overactivity; NDO; Neurogenic bladder sphincter dysfunction; NBSD
Several muscles and nerves must work together for the bladder to hold urine until you are ready to empty it. Nerve messages go back and forth between the brain and the muscles that control bladder emptying. If these nerves are damaged by illness or injury, the muscles may not be able to tighten or relax at the right time.
Disorders of the central nervous system commonly cause neurogenic bladder. These can include:
Damage or disorders of the nerves that supply the bladder can also cause this condition. These can include:
The symptoms depend on the cause. They often include symptoms of urinary incontinence.
Symptoms of overactive bladder may include:
Symptoms of underactive bladder may include:
Medicines may help manage your symptoms. Your health care provider may suggest:
Your provider may refer you to someone who has been trained to help people manage bladder problems.
Skills or techniques you may learn include:
Learn to recognize the symptoms of urinary infections (UTIs), such as burning when you urinate, fever, low back pain on one side, and a more frequent need to urinate. Cranberry tablets may help prevent UTIs.
Some people may need to use a urinary catheter. This is a thin tube that is inserted into your bladder. You may need a catheter to be:
Sometimes surgery is needed. Surgeries for neurogenic bladder include:
If you are having urinary incontinence, organizations are available for further information and support.
Complications of neurogenic bladder may include:
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your provider if you:
Chapple CR, Osman NI. The underactive detrusor. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 77.
Goetz LL, Klausner AP, Cardenas DD. Bladder dysfunction. In: Cifu DX, ed. Braddom's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 20.
Panicker JN, DasGupta R, Batla A. Neurourology. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Maziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 47.
Review Date: 5/30/2016
Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, SUNY Stony Brook, School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.