The impact of a spinal cord injury on the bladder can result in involuntary messages to contract the bladder being received by the bladder causing leakage, or wetting. When no messages are being sent, then the bladder won’t emptying, and instead will retain urine. The urine must be emptied to maintain health and prevent damage to the kidneys, this is most often achieved using intermittent catheterization.
Most people with a spinal cord injury will experience bladder dysfunction known as neurogenic bladder, which means they have a decreased ability to control their bladder. Learn more about how the bladder works.
Common symptoms of urinary problems associated with spinal cord injury
- Small or large amounts of urine leaking without warning or without feeling the urge to go to the toilet
- Inability of the bladder to empty completely
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)