Symptom Detail

ca. 2002 --- Motel Room Toilet --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Overview

Involves the frequency or urgency of urination, hesitancy in urination, nocturia and incontinence.

Description

There are two ways that bladder dysfunction manifests in MS patients: 1. The person has difficulty emptying their bladder. That is, the person’s brain does not signal to their brain that the bladder is full 2. The person frequently attempts to empty their bladder, even when it is not full. In this case, the bladder is overactive.

Important Facts

For the person that does not empty their bladder frequently enough, what results is increased risk of infection, overall discomfort and distended bladder. For the individual with an overactive bladder, there is always a feeling of having to go to the bathroom and is disruptive to daily activities.

Causes

Occurs when nerve signals in areas of the central nervous system are blocked by MS lesions. The area of the central nervous system that is affected is the part that controls the bladder and urinary sphincter.

Treatments

1. Dietary and fluid management 2. Medications 3. Intermittent or continual catheterization **Very important to seek treatment, as bladder dysfunction can lead to both emotional and personal hygiene problems.