Overactive Bladder Nerve Damage

Overactive Bladder Nerve Damage


 Have you experienced overactive bladder nerve damage? What are the symptoms of overactive bladder nerve damage? How did this start? What was the event that happened before having overactive bladder?

Overactive bladder nerve damage is a condition which happens when the nerves carrying the information from bladder and its associated sphincter muscles and other innervations to the brain are damaged. This can happen vice versa as well, if the brain supplying the bladder and associated structures with nerves suffers any damage. There are a number of medical conditions associated with this experience as well like neurogenic bladder, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke, vaginal delivery/ child birth and many other conditions.

All of the causes and conditions, symptoms are discussed in the article below. Remedies and treatment will be discussed as well.

Contents discussed in the article:

Causes of overactive bladder nerve damage






Causes of overactive bladder nerve damage:

  1. Vaginal childbirth: Childbirths can be painful especially when the delivery of the baby is from the vagina also called as normal vaginal delivery (NVD). During the process of child birth due to the high exerted pressure on pelvic muscles and may be due to some spinal or epidural anesthesia the nerves might be damaged. This type of delivery can cause pelvic floor muscles to weaken resulting in overactive bladder and incontinence with urgency and frequency. Even weakened muscles can displaces the urinary bladder from its normal position and results in leakage. Even during episiotomy, the pelvic floor muscles might be cut to help fetus come out easily.

This can be helped by timed voiding or urinating and bladder training i.e., checking on the time of leakage and urinating time by time. Or some other methods can be practiced by increasing the time gradually for going to washroom. A number of medications can also in some cases for relaxing the overactive bladder.


  1. Infections of the brain or spinal cord: In cases of infections the nerves might be stimulated or damaged with the toxins and immune system activity, leading to neural over-activity and depolarization and thus resulting in urgency and frequency. Infections of the brain ad spina cord can travel to peripheral nerves and result in different manifestations.

Treating the underlying condition can definitely help in treating the overactive bladder nerve damage.


  1. Diabetes: Diabetes is a condition / disease in which there is no or less insulin secretion or resistance to the secretin of insulin. Thus, diabetes is classified into two types: Diabetes type I and diabetes type II. Diabetes when prolonged with no treatment or in case of uncontrolled diabetes nerves are damaged called as diabetic neuropathy. In diabetic neuropathy the nerves are damaged due to high levels of glucose. Number of nerves can be involved in this diabetic neuropathy condition and some nerves supplying the bladder as well resulting in urgency, incontinence etc.


  1. Stroke: Stroke is a condition that occurs when the blood supply to the brain or part of spinal cord is compromised due to ischemia or hemorrhage. Stroke results in brain lesion and both the site and size of lesion is seen to have an impact on urinary incontinence. Frontal lobe lesion is seen to have a significant impact on overactive bladder. Stroke may cause damage od nerves supplying the bladder and result in urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency.

Pelvic floor exercises and bladder can definitely be of help in such conditions of overactive bladder as a complication of stroke. Bladder training involves going to washroom on specific times and Kegel’s exercise to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.


  1. Accidents that injure the brain or spinal cord: Accidents that damage or injure the brain directly or spinal cord can affect a number of nerves involving the ones controlling the signals to bladder or may be some peripheral nerves carrying the signal from bladder to brain resulting in the overactivity of bladder.

Surgeries, conservative and supportive care after accidents can help the patient with this stressful and inconvenient situation.

Other nerve damages can occur due to herniated discs, surgeries itself or any trauma can cause nerve damage and causes the bladder to empty at inappropriate times. Herniated disc can pinch the nerve supplying the bladder and other muscles and resulting in overactive bladder and incontinence and urgency.


  1. Multiple sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the myelin sheath surrounding the nerves is destroyed by the auto antibodies resulting in loss and impaired signals.MS starts with the optic neuritis and thus serves as a sign for the start of disease. There are some other symptoms associated with the disease like blurred vision, double vision, myalgia, incontinence.

The treatment for the disease is symptomatic and the symptoms like overactive bladder with symptoms of urgency, frequency and incontinence can be treated by treating the underlying condition.

There is a specific treatment for controlling each phase of the disease.


  1. Heavy metal poisoning: Heavy metal poisoning due to the occupation of the person or due to sea food can result in poisoning. This poisoning can travel to the nerves and result in toxin induced injury of the nerves and their damage. Thus, the damage to the nerves can cause symptoms like urgency, incontinence, and frequency. These symptoms can be treated by detoxifying the body of the toxins by gastric lavage, antidotes etc.

The sooner the treatment is received by the patient, the symptoms are eliminated accordingly as well.


  1. Neurogenic bladder: Neurogenic bladder is a condition in which the bladder either is overactive bladder or becomes a bladder that retains the urine. There are a number of causes of neurogenic bladder which include: Multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, Encephalitis, Alzheimer’s disease, lack of vitamin B12. There are a number of symptoms of neurogenic bladder and it includes Urinary tract infections, dribbling, pain, erectile dysfunction in males, kidney stones, urgency etc.

Diagnosis can eb first made by history, physical examination and imaging definitely. Thus, knowing the underlying cause, and treating the patient symptomatically can help the patient get a sigh of relief.



Symptoms of overact bladder include:

  • Nocturia: urination at night (at least two times at night)
  • Urgency: inability to postpone the need to urinate, i.e., you have a limited time for voiding
  • Frequency: need of urinating very often. Increase in the number of times as compared to previous times
  • Incontinence: there is a leakage of urine when there is an urge to urinate.



Diagnosis can be made primarily based on history and physical examination. History involves checking for the onset of symptoms, related health history, injury, trauma, etc. In addition to that physical examination indicating a number of underlying disease and symptoms related to it. Diagnosis also involves a number of tests and imaging. Checking for the nerves and brain itself is very helpful.

Urodynamics involves measuring the pressure inside the bladder while being filled and checking its capacity to hold the urine and to see how much voiding has took place and is there some residual amount left or not.

Imaging involves X rays, MRI, CT scan- examining the structure of brain and urinary tract structures.

EEG and EMG can be used to check the nerves of the bladder and lower abdominal muscles.



Treatment is based on cause and thus is variable. It ranges from physical therapy to medicines and surgeries.

Bladder training, electric stimulation, drug therapy and surgeries.

Bladder training means checking on the timing of urination and leakage and managing the time of your voiding accordingly. As learnt with tie, the time gap between the need and going for voiding can be increased gradually. This helps in getting control the situation of incontinence and overactive bladder.

Electric stimulation of nerves at anal or vaginal area to the bladder and sphincter muscles can help to get rid of incontinence and urgency.

Drugs are of great help in relaxing the bladder muscles and prevent bladder spasms are called as anti-cholinergics; these include: oxybutynin chloride (Ditropan), tolterodine (Detrol), hyoscyamine (Levsin), and propantheline bromide (Pro-Banthine).

Surgery is performed in severe cases and when the treatment has been unresponsive. Surgery involves the augmentation of the bladder in which the bladder is enlarged by adding part of intestine and cutting the diseased part. But surgery has its own drawbacks like leading to urinary retention, infections etc.



Having an overactive bladder may be nerve-wracking experience. Even though this condition may be caused by some injury, in which case it gets better with proper care and time. But if you have underlying diseases like multiple sclerosis, or diabetes, this overactive bladder may be related to the nerve damage caused by these conditions. You may also experience overactive bladder in case you have an infection that has involved you brain or spinal cord, or if you have undergone stroke. In all these cases it is necessary for you to see a doctor so that they may treat the underlying causes thereby helping you to get rid of this condition, or in some cases (like multiple sclerosis) your doctor may prescribe medicines so that you are relieved off this condition.



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