When you have MS, your bladder may not empty. This is because the muscle that retains urine can't relax.
Sometimes urination can be started by pressing or tapping the bladder area or by straining. Medicines can also help in some cases.
If these treatments don't help, you may need to use a straight urinary catheter. You may hear this called intermittent self-catheterization. A straight catheter is a thin flexible tube that you insert through the urethra and into the bladder. It allows urine to drain. (The urethra is the tube that carries urine outside the body from the bladder.) This is usually done at the toilet.
It only takes a little instruction and a few practice sessions to learn to do this procedure. It can relieve symptoms and help prevent urinary tract infections.
Current as of: February 28, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board: All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.