Neurogenic Bladder Specialist in Enfield, CT
If you struggle with frequent urination or urinary incontinence, you may have a condition called neurogenic bladder. At Pregenzer Urology in Enfield and Hartford, Connecticut, Gerard Pregenzer, Jr., MD offers comprehensive diagnostic testing and customized treatment for people with neurogenic bladders. Don’t wait to seek help for urinary problems because complications can develop without treatment. Schedule an appointment by calling one of the offices or using the online booking tool.
Neurogenic Bladder Q & A
What is a neurogenic bladder?
A neurogenic bladder is a condition that occurs when you can’t control your bladder due to dysfunctional or damaged nerves.
When everything works properly, sensors in your bladder send messages through sensory nerves to your brain, letting it know when the bladder is full. Then your brain responds by sending messages through motor nerves that trigger the bladder muscles to contract so you can urinate.
Depending on where the damaged nerves are located, you can develop two types of neurogenic bladder called hypotonic and hyper-reflexive:
Hypotonic (underactive) bladder
This type of neurogenic bladder occurs when your peripheral nerves or the lower spinal cord are damaged. This results in an underactive bladder due to the loss of bladder muscle contractions.
Hyper-reflexive (overactive) bladder
You develop a hyper-reflexive bladder when you suffer brain damage or the spinal cord is damaged in the middle back (thoracic spine) or neck (cervical spine). As a result, you develop an overactive bladder.
What causes a neurogenic bladder?
Many health conditions can lead to a neurogenic bladder, including:
- Herniated discs
- Brain or spinal cord injuries
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Bladder outlet obstruction
- Urethral strictures
You can also develop nerve damage resulting in a neurogenic bladder if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency or alcohol use disorder.
What symptoms develop if I have a neurogenic bladder?
The symptoms that develop due to a neurogenic bladder include:
- Urinary incontinence
- Urinary urgency
- Urinary frequency
- Urinating during the night
- Urinary retention
- Releasing a small amount of urine
- Kidney stones and urinary tract infections are two common complications of a neurogenic bladder.
How do urologists treat a neurogenic bladder?
When Dr. Pregenzer, Jr. suspects your symptoms are the result of a neurogenic bladder, he runs lab tests and performs diagnostic imaging, such as an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI.
Dr. Pregenzer, Jr. also does urodynamic testing. These specialized studies reveal information such as your bladder volume and pressure, how well the bladder empties, and the amount of urine being retained.
Your treatment may include one or more of the following:
- Catheterization to eliminate urine
- Increased fluid intake and other dietary changes
- Neuromodulation (electrical stimulation)
- Dietary changes
- Pelvic floor exercises
- Scheduled or delayed voiding
- Medications to relax muscles
When symptoms of an under-active bladder don’t improve with conservative therapies, Dr. Pregenzer, Jr. may recommend one of several types of surgery, such as urinary diversion surgery, bladder augmentation, or sphincter resection.