Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a condition where the body’s immune system “attacks” myelin in the central nervous system leading to nerve damage that sends messages to your muscles, which makes them harder to control. Bladder issues are very common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), affecting an estimated 80 percent of people with MS according to National MS Society.
Incontinence can range from occasional leaks to strong sudden urge to empty the bladder and you cannot reach the traditional toileting facilities on time. Incontinence due to Bladder control issues can be managed and it doesn’t have to take over your life. There are many successful management approaches to manage continence. You can work with your Health Professionals to find the right solution for yourself.
Bladder Function and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
The main causes of bladder accidents in Multiple Sclerosis:
- Have trouble controlling the release of urine (incontinence)
- Experience a sense of having to go right away (urge)
- Experience frequent urges to urinate (frequency)
- Have difficulty in starting to urinate or in sustaining a steady stream (hesitancy)
Bladder Management and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Discuss with your healthcare professional as all healthcare professionals are experienced at talking about incontinence management and multiple sclerosis. They will work with you a plan which will be best suited for your body.
- Keep a diary this will not only give you an overview of your bladder condition but you can also share this with your healthcare professional to explain your bladder patterns. Always take a note of what you drink, eat, along with any medications that you take, when do you visit the toilet and how often. Any issues with starting or stopping and if you have had any bladder related accidents.
- Lifestyle changes which could include drinking enough fluids in a day, trying to stay clear of bladder irritants like caffeine, fizzy drinks, limiting your alcohol and nicotine intake. Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Pelvic Floor exercises can be helpful in MS as these muscles give you control when you urinate as they relax at the same time as the bladder contracts to let urine out. These help strength the pelvic floor muscles, which help with the bladder control. People of all genders can do pelvic floor exercises. You can find more information about them on NHS Website
- Continence products like pants and pads come in variety of sizes and shapes which can help you manage light to heavy incontinence. There can be other products like catheters, sheaths etc.
- Prescribed medications