Health Information

Related Specialties and Services

Division of Urology

Pediatric Urology Conditions

Neurogenic Bladder

What is a neurogenic bladder?

The bladder has two main functions: to store urine and then to empty urine when it is full. In order for this process to be successful, the nerves and the muscles of the urinary tract work together. Nerves carry messages from the bladder to the brain and from the brain to the muscles of the bladder and sphincter (the “hold on” muscle between the bladder and the urethra). These messages tell the bladder muscle to relax or contract. In a neurogenic bladder, the nerves that are supposed to carry these messages do not work properly so the bladder is not able to store or empty urine effectively.

What causes neurogenic bladder?

In children a neurogenic bladder may be related to a birth defect or it may be acquired as the result of a different problem. The following are some of the most common causes of neurogenic bladder:

What are the symptoms and associated problems with a neurogenic bladder?

Symptoms of neurogenic bladder may vary depending upon the cause and other associated conditions. In many cases, neurogenic bladder is associated with the following:

What studies could my child need?

Our approach to treating a neurogenic bladder

The Division of Urology specializes in the care of children with neurogenic bladder. Each year we treat more than 300 children with this condition, most commonly through our Spina Bifida Program.

Our goals in treating children with a neurogenic bladder are to preserve renal function, achieve social continence and promote a positive self-esteem as the children get older. Our team of physicians, nurses and psychologists will work closely with your family to ensure your goals are met.

Medical management

Surgical management

Reviewed by: Division of Urology
Date: June 2011

  • Print
  • Share

Contact the Division of Urology