What is spina bifida (SB)?
Spina bifida means ‘split spine’. People with spina bifida were born with a spine and central nervous system that have not developed properly. The reason why this happens remains unclear. The severity of SB varies – in the severe cases some of the spinal cord tissue penetrates the skin leaving it exposed outside the body.
Why does SB cause bladder problems?
Because the bladder and bowel are controlled by the nerves in the lower part of the spinal cord, a spinal cord that is damaged will lead to bladder and/or bowel dysfunction in different degree depending on the severity of the nerve damage.
What kind of bladder problems?
Most people with spina bifida will experience bladder dysfunction known as neurogenic bladder, which means they have difficulties controlling their bladder. A neurogenic bladder can lead to either overactive (reflex) bladder and or underactive (flaccid) bladder, which is why people with spina bifida need help to manage their bladder.
These are general guidelines meant to help you with typical questions. You should follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider and the intermittent catheterization solution you are using.