We ensure women with neurological conditions that affect their bladders are offered all available treatment options including those traditionally used for women without neurogenic bladder conditions.
Neurological conditions like spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis (MS) can all affect the bladder. In the Pacific Northwest, MS is more common. Over the years treatments have greatly improved for this condition and patients are living longer and more functional lives. It is now more important than ever for women to receive contemporary and effective urinary tract care.
The introduction of bladder Botox injections (FDA approved in 2008) to the treatment arsenal have dramatically changed the bladder symptom care in this population. In addition, women with neurological conditions may also be affected by conditions common to all women such as prolapse, pelvic floor dysfunction and stress incontinence.
We have noticed that women who have a neurological condition may be started on medications and conservative treatments are not attempted. Important issues like sexual and bowel function are often not considered in the treatment plan. We believe it is of utmost importance that women who have neurogenic bladders be seen by specialists that also have the ability to treat urogynecological conditions i.e. “female problems” that may affect them as well.
Our motto is “we will always remember that you have a neurological condition affecting your bladder but we will always offer treatment options traditionally used in women for non-neurogenic conditions.”
What to Expect
Each woman that we see that has a neurogenic bladder has a thorough intake evaluation that includes a detailed urinary history and physical exam.
Due to the complex nature of neurogenic bladder more information may be needed to devise a treatment plan tailored to your particular symptoms. At a minimum we will test the urine for infection and obtain a renal US. In many cases we may recommend cystoscopy (a test to look at the appearance of the bladder) and urodynamics (a test that helps to demonstrate how the bladder is physically functioning).
At Athena we feel strongly that though we suggest a treatment plan, ultimately the final choice is up to our patients. We are very aware that many women with neurogenic bladder conditions have had negative experiences in urology offices over the years and are sensitive to that. The final treatment plan is then created and tailored to the individual and her needs and more importantly the symptom that is bothering her the most.
Regardless of if a woman opts for treatment or not we believe it is very important to have annual follow up and surveillance of the urinary tract given the fluctuating nature of some of the neurological conditions and the changes that can occur. Our patients with a diagnosis of neurogenic bladder will see the physician provider at a minimum of one time per year.
- Bladder Botox Injections
The use of Botox in urology has recently been approved by the FDA and many studies have found it’s useful potential in relieving a variety of lower urinary tract dysfunctions including multiple sclerosis, stroke, overactive bladder, interstitial cystitis, and spinal cord injury when conventional treatments have failed.
A cystoscopy is a procedure that is used to visually inspect the bladder.
- Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) is a general term used to describe when the nerves and muscles supporting the pelvis and vagina are not coordinated with bladder, bowel, or sexual function. This may mean that the muscles of the pelvis are...
In medicine, prolapse is a condition where organs, such as the uterus, fall down or slip out of place. It is used for organs protruding through the vagina or the rectum.
- Stress Incontinence
Stress incontinence is urinary incontinence/leakage with activity. Some common symptoms are: Leaking with coughing Leaking with laughing Leaking with sneezing Leaking with exercise
Urodynamics is a collective group of tests that allows us to study how your lower urinary tract works. Your lower urinary tract includes the bladder, which stores your urine, and the urethra which is the tube that carries urine from you bladder to the outside of your body.