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More than 70% of people with multiple sclerosis will experience bladder issues. The symptoms vary from person to person.

Many people with multiple sclerosis have neurogenic bladder dysfunction, which means a decreased ability to control the bladder. Some people may find that they need to urinate more frequently or urgently, whereas others may experience difficulty emptying the bladder or a feeling of incomplete emptying.

Bladder problems, if left untreated, can be severely detrimental to the course of the disease and subsequently have a high impact on quality of life. 

The symptoms below may be one of the first indications of having multiple sclerosis but they may also develop during the course of the illness.

<h2><em><strong>Multiple sclerosis and bladder problems</strong></em></h2>

Multiple sclerosis and bladder problems

Many people with multiple sclerosis have neurogenic bladder dysfunction, which means a decreased ability to control the bladder.  Read more

Some people may find that they need to urinate more frequently or urgently, whereas others may experience difficulty emptying the bladder or a feeling of incomplete emptying.  

Bladder problems, if left untreated, can be severely detrimental to the course of the disease and subsequently have a high impact on quality of life. 
The symptoms below may be one of the first indications of having multiple sclerosis but they may also develop during the course of the illness.

 

Urinary incontinence

  • Urinary leakage
  • Small or large amounts of urine leaking without warning or without feeling the urge to go to the toilet
  • Involuntarily leakage when sneezing, coughing, laughing or exercising
  • A sudden urge to rush to the toilet to urinate
  • The need to get up to pass urine two or more times a night (nocturia)
Urinary retention
  • Urinary hesitancy which is difficulty initiating urination
  • Urgent sense to urinate but inability to start the urinary flow
  • Frequent visits to toilet
  • Dribble due to overflow incontinence
  • Weak flow
  • Bloated lower abdomen 
Urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections have a harmful effect on multiple sclerosis and may mimic a relapse. Therefore it is extremely important to regularly empty your bladder in order to avoid urinary tract infections in the first place, which can be caused by residual urine being left in the bladder.

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There are a number of available options to manage urinary problems depending on your condition.

Taking care of your bladder

There are a number of available options to manage bladder problems depending on your condition. How to take care of your bladder

Treating urinary retention

If you have difficulty emptying your bladder or experience incomplete bladder emptying, your healthcare professional will determine if you need to use an intermittent catheter. Your first step will be to find a catheter that fits you and your lifestyle. It is important that you follow the guidance in terms of technique and how often you need to catheterise.

 

Dealing with urinary incontinence

Though less common than urinary retention, sudden and complete emptying of the bladder, also called leakage, can also be associated with multiple sclerosis. Incontinence pads are often used, however, collecting devices such as a Conveen Optima urisheath and urine bag provide a far more comfortable and effective solution for many men with urinary incontinence. Urisheaths are worn over the penis like a condom and connect to a discreet urine bag. It is important you use the right size urisheath while finding the right collecting bag depends on how much you leak. Try Conveen.

With the right treatment you may also be offered ISC as a management.  

 

Urinary tract infections

The presence of bacteria in the urinary tract is quite common and does not always cause a urinary tract infection. If, however, the bacteria grow and multiply to a certain level, they may cause an infection of the urinary tract that needs treatment.

 

Symptoms of urinary tract infections

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection vary and may be subtle. They include:

  • Dark-coloured and strong-smelling urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Fever/sweating
  • Bladder spasms
  • Increased muscle contractions in your leg
  • If you experience any of the symptoms listed, you should consult your healthcare professional.

 

Avoiding urinary tract infections

While there is no definite solution to avoiding urinary tract infections, there are a number of precautions that can help you prevent and sidestep recurrent infections:  

  • Generous intake of fluids – at least 1.5 litres a day
  • Good personal hygiene when you catheterise
  • Catheterisation routines – completely emptying the bladder regularly
  • Healthy digestion – a good bowel routine may reduce the risk of urinary tract infections

 

Following the right technique and using a hydrophilic coated catheter can also help reduce the number of urinary tract infections you experience

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Watch Monika's Story

“I feel more like a woman."

Meet Monika, 48, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a catheter. She used to think she did not care what a catheter looks like, but after trying SpeediCath Compact Eve, this has changed.

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“I feel more like a woman."

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