Spinal cord injury can cause changes to how your urinary system works. The way you go to the bathroom will be different, but with what you learn in rehab, plus time and trial and error, you’ll be able to master your bladder program so it doesn’t keep you from enjoying life.
There are different methods that people with spinal cord injury use to empty their bladder, either by inserting a catheter on a regular schedule or by using an external collection device.
Good technique and hygiene are important. You may need special equipment, supplies and devices as part of your bladder routine. Some people may also work with attendants or caregivers to assist with their bladder program.
It’s important to know about the problems you may encounter, like urinary tract infections. The key to preventing these problems is hydration (drinking enough water), along with good hygiene, healthy eating and active living.
When you encounter difficulties, work in partnership with your health care team to problem solve to a solution. It’s also important to be tested on a regular basis for urinary complications.
In this course, you’ll learn about:
- Your urinary system and how it may work after a spinal cord injury
- The importance of emptying your bladder on a regular schedule
- Catheters or external collection devices for emptying your bladder
- The importance of good technique and hygiene when performing your bladder routine
- Problems you may encounter, such as urinary tract infections, and how to prevent these problems
- The importance of regular testing for urinary complications
- How to partner with your healthcare team to problem-solve your way to a solution