Neurogenic Bladder: Overview

What is neurogenic bladder?

In order for the bladder to work properly, the muscles and nerves of the bladder must work together. Nerves carry signals to and from the bladder and these signals control how the bladder works. If the nerves are damaged, then the bladder can become neurogenic. The damage can cause the bladder to empty too quickly or too frequently, or it cannot empty completely. Both can lead to children having urinary tract infections, daytime and nighttime wetting  (incontinence), and can cause long term kidney damage.

What causes neurogenic bladder?

If a child’s nerves are damaged either during pregnancy (spina bifida) or after birth (by an accident), then his or her bladder can become neurogenic.

Who gets a neurogenic bladder?

Children with spinal cord injuries or spinal cord abnormalities, such as spina bifida, are at risk for neurogenic bladders. Therefore, it is very important for mothers to take folic acid during pregnancy to reduce the risk of their child being born with spina bifida.