A person with
multiple sclerosis (MS) may have difficulty emptying
the bladder completely, because the muscle that helps to retain urine cannot
relax (a form of
Sometimes urination can be stimulated by pressing or tapping the
bladder area or by straining. Medicines can also help in some cases, including propantheline,
oxybutynin (for example, Ditropan), or tolterodine (Detrol).
these methods or medicines do not help, you may have to use a urinary
catheter, a thin flexible tube that you can insert into the channel through
which urine exits the body (urethra). This is called intermittent
self-catheterization. A little instruction and a few practice sessions with a nurse are all
that are needed to learn to do intermittent self-catheterization. The procedure
is usually done at the toilet.
The technique provides immediate relief of symptoms and helps
prevent urinary tract infections and their complications.
people who have MS may only need to use the technique for a few weeks or months,
because the bladder often recovers most of its normal function.
Urinary tract infections are common in people who have MS. Your doctor
should check your urine whenever you have a flare-up, fever, or change in
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.