Urgency and urge incontinence for patients with Multiple Sclerosis Patient Information Leaflet

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1 Urgency and urge incontinence for patients with Multiple Sclerosis Patient Information Leaflet Shining a light on the future

2 2

3 Introduction The aim of this leaflet is to provide you with information about urgency and urge incontinence for patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Do you? Have a strong desire to pass urine Leak urine if you do not get to the toilet straight away Get up during the night to pass urine more than twice Need to pass urine frequently It the answer is yes to any of the above, you may have urgency or urge incontinence. Normal bladder function The bladder collects and stores urine until it is convenient to expel it from the body. As the bladder fills, the nerves send a message to the brain and the desire to pass urine is noted. If it is not convenient to pass urine, a message (blocking message) is sent to the bladder to delay emptying. When it is convenient to pass urine this blocking message stops and the bladder empties. When urgency or urge incontinence occurs the bladder muscles become over active. The blocking message from the brain does not get through and incontinence may occur. Common causes include: Urine infection Constipation Stroke Parkinson s disease Brain tumours Multiple Sclerosis Bladder stones Enlarged prostrate gland Alzheimer s disease Spinal lesions Unknown cause 3

4 What treatments are available? The cause of the problem must be identified and treated if at all possible. For example, urine should be tested and any infection treated. (NICE 2003) Bladder re-education has been shown to have a considerable effect on improving or curing this type of continence problem. Drug treatment may be used together with bladder reeducation. These drugs act by calming down the activity of the over-active bladder muscle. Your family doctor will advise you as to whether these drugs could help you. In severe cases that do not respond to the above treatment your family doctor may refer you to a Bladder Specialist (A Urologist) who may consider an operation. (Haslam, C 2009) Handy hints Avoid or reduce tea and coffee as they contain caffeine, which irritates the bladder. (Haslam, C 2009). Try decaffeinated tea or coffee. Do not go to the toilet 'just in case' only when your bladder is full. Eat a healthy diet and avoid constipation and weight gain. Do pelvic floor exercises 8 times a day. (McClurg et al 2009) Further information If you don't understand any part of this leaflet or have any further queries please contact the Multiple Sclerosis Continence Nurses, Outpatient Department, Walkergate Park. Telephone:

5 References McClurg, D at al (2009) Pelvic floor training for lower urinary tract dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis. Nursing Times;105:7, Haslam, C (2009) Management options for bladder dysfunction in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Nursing Times; 105:40 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) (2003) Management of Multiple Sclerosis in Primary and Secondary Care Clinical Guideline 8. What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service? If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can talk to the people directly involved in your care or you can complete a feedback form. Feedback forms are available from Trust staff Complaints Department Tel: You can complete a feedback form electronically by visiting the Trust Website (click on the Contact Us tab) 5

6 Further information about the content or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, large print, BSL, easy read or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: Published by the Patient Information Centre 2012 Copyright, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust Ref, PIC/130/0512 May 2012 V3 Tel: Review date

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