Managing bladder issues
There are a number of treatments and products available to help manage your bladder. Luckily bladder issues are one of the most treatable symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
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 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.
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
- 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
Find out more
Following the right technique and using a hydrophilic coated catheter can also help reduce the number of urinary tract infections you experience. Products that can help to manage bladder problems: