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Daily Archives: September 19, 2005

What happens to the bladder, bowel, and sexual function?

Published: September 19, 2005

The spinal cord also carries “autonomic” signals that control blood pressure, blood flow, breathing, sweating, bowel, bladder, sexual, and other autonomic functions.

• Bladder Paralysis and Spasticity. Spinal cord injury paralyzes the bladder. The bladder must be catheterized to drain urine. Indwelling catheters (such as a foley catheter inserted through the urethra) have a high risk of infections. Sterile intermittent catheterization is recommended but may be complicated by bladder spasticity or spontaneous contractions of the bladder. Bladder contractions can push urine into the kidney and this may lead to kidney damage.