There’s a lot to adjust to after a spinal cord injury. But when it comes to emptying your bladder, cathing doesn’t have to be something that holds you back in any way.
If you are using a wheelchair, remember you can tailor your GentleCath™ user video to demonstrate the best approach for you.
Spinal cord injury and your bladder
After an SCI, the kidneys usually continue to filter waste, and urine is stored in the bladder. However, the messages may not be able to move between your bladder and sphincter muscles and your brain.
This can result in the:
- Inability to store urine. You cannot control when your bladder empties. This is known as reflex or spastic bladder.
- Inability to empty the bladder. Your bladder is full, but you can't empty it. It stretches as it continues to fill with urine, which can cause damage to the bladder and kidneys. This is known as a flaccid bladder.
Improving your quality of life
It’s important to take care of your bladder to help avoid infections, sepsis (bloodstream infection) and kidney and bladder problems.
Good bladder management can improve your quality of life by preventing bladder problems, which is one of the biggest concerns for people who have spinal cord injuries (SCIs).
Maintaining a positive outlook is extremely important. There is plenty of practical support available to help you integrate into society and stay productive. If you are struggling, there are many support groups and treatments available for people with spinal cord injury as listed below.
Useful resource for people with a spinal cord injury