A spinal cord injury may interrupt communication between the nerves in the spinal cord that control bladder and bowel function and the brain, causing bladder- and bowel-function problems. This results in bladder or bowel dysfunction that is termed "neurogenic bladder" or "neurogenic bowel." People with multiple sclerosis or spina bifida may have similar problems.

If you have neurogenic bladder, signs may include loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence), inability to empty the bladder, urinary frequency and urinary tract infections. Signs of neurogenic bowel include loss of bowel control (bowel incontinence), constipation, bowel frequency and lack of bowel movements.

The Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, offers several bladder and bowel management options for people with neurogenic bladder or bowel.

Dec. 09, 2014