A spinal cord injury can affect a person’s ability to control their bladder. As a result, bladder management is an essential concern for many people with spinal cord injuries.
Bladder management refers to the various methods and techniques used to manage bladder function in individuals who have experienced a spinal cord injury. An SCI can affect the nerves that control the bladder, leading to difficulty emptying the bladder or incontinence. Proper bladder management can prevent urinary tract infections, kidney damage, and other complications.
Options for managing bladder function
There are several options for managing bladder function after SCI from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC), including
- Intermittent Catheterization: this option can drain your bladder without keeping a catheter in your bladder all the time.
- Indwelling Catheterization: this option is for ongoing protection from urinary retention or urinary incontinence.
- Reflex Voiding: This option is primarily for men with bladders that fill and squeeze on their own because a convenient way to capture urine is needed.
- Valsalva and Credé Voiding: this option is for people who have difficulty getting their bladder to squeeze. Valsalva is a method where you tighten your abdominal muscles and bear down to force your urine from your bladder. Credé is a method where you push your fist over your bladder to empty it.
We just listed the four bladder management options from the MSKTC. If you’re interested in the topic, please read the factsheet on the MSKTC website for the complete content, including the advantages and disadvantages of every approach. Moreover, our Peer and Family Support team would like to help you with non-clinical, practical advice and lived experience of physical disability.
Declaimer: The content of the post is only for informational and educational purposes. Please consult your doctor or other health professionals to ensure this information is right for you.
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