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BOWEL AND BLADDER POTENTIAL AND SPINAL CORD INJURY
With a spinal cord injury, you will most likely have difficulties with your bowel and bladder ability. A specialist in SCI issues will train you to manage your bowel and bladder effectively and to reduce any chance of accidents.
The following will help to inform you of the different types of bowel and bladder problems and serves only as a guideline to what a medical professional will offer.
A REFLEX BOWEL: If your injury is around of above the T12 level, you will most likely have a reflex or spastic bowel. In order for you to have regular bowel movements, you will need to stimulate your bowel with a suppository. Once you are educated by a professional on this method, you will be able to regulate your bowel movements and will be able to avoid the possibility of any bowel accidents. This will be highly important as you work to regain your independence and a more normal life routine.
A NON-REFLEX BOWEL: If your injury is around or below the T12 level you will probably have a non-reflex, or flaccid, bowel. You will have to eliminate your bowel manually. Once again, a professional will guide you through this process in order to regulate your bowel movements.
URINARY INCONTINENCE: You will experience urinary incontinence at most levels of SCI. There are several options to manage this problem, depending on the ability of your bladder to release fluid and your manual dexterity. Some options available are:
T-DRAIN: An external condom catheter, attached to your penis, that attaches to a leg bag. The leg bag is unnoticeable when hidden under pants.
INTERMITTANT CATHERTERIZATION: This method allows you to catheterize yourself at regular intervals throughout the day. It involves no external devices.
INDWELLING CATHETER: A catheter is medically inserted in the body and connected to an external bag which collects the urine. The bag is unnoticeable under clothing.