Multiple Sclerosis

Nervous system, MS and bladder problems

Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. It causes destruction of myelin (a protein that forms a protective coating around nerve cells) in the central nervous system.

When myelin is destroyed, signals traveling through the nerve cells are interrupted or delayed, resulting in various symptoms occurring at different locations throughout the body.5,7,8

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, progressive MS manifests itself differently in each person.  Whether your MS is progressive or not, it’s important to realize that “progressive” does not necessarily have to equate with severe disability.8

Primary symptoms directly caused by MS include tremor, numbness, weakness, loss of vision, pain, mobility problems, poor balance, bladder and bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction and mood and cognitive changes.  Any of these symptoms may increase or advance in progressive MS.4,8

Please note that this information provided by Liberator Medical is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a medical professional. 

Prevalence and Causes of Multiple Sclerosis

Studies show that MS is the result of a number of factors rather than a single factor. Most likely, genetics plays a role in determining a person's susceptibility to MS.

The disease is not entirely genetically controlled, although first-degree relatives of individuals with MS have an increased risk of developing the disease.  Exposure to environmental factors, such as a virus, UV radiation and season of birth, levels of dietary vitamin D, Epstein-Barr virus(EBV) infection, smoking and other factors may also help play a role.  The specific factors have not yet been identified.8

The average age of diagnosis is usually between 20 and 50, although it also can occur in older individuals.  MS is twice as common in women compared to men.8

2013 survey data suggested that MS affects more than 400,000 people in the US and an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide.  Worldwide, MS occurs with much greater frequency in higher latitudes (above 40° latitude) away from the equator, than in lower latitudes, closer to the equator.8

MS is more common among Caucasians (particularly those of northern European ancestry) than other races.  In certain populations, an antigen marker has been linked to MS.  It is called human leucocyte antigen DRB1 (HLA-DRB1) and is found more frequently in people with MS than in those who do not have the disease.5, 8

Please note that this information provided by Liberator Medical is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a medical professional.

Neurogenic Bladder

Neurogenic bladder is when a person lacks bladder control due to a brain, spinal cord or nerve problem.

This includes people with MS, Parkinson’s disease and people who have had stroke or spinal cord injury.  More than 70% of people with MS have bladder problems primarily due to a disruption in the signal from the spinal cord to the bladder that tells it to ‘void’.1,8

With neurogenic bladder, problems starting to urinate or emptying all of the urine out of your bladder may be common.  Your bladder may become too full, and you may leak urine from an overfull bladder.  Medication sometimes helps when your bladder is not working correctly.  Some people with MS need to use an intermittent urinary catheter to manage bladder voiding.  Other options include using an indwelling catheter and in some instances a suprapubic catheter.  Your doctor will work with you on identifying this issue and will prescribe the appropriate treatment for you.2, 8

You should seek treatment whenever changes in your bladder habits keep you from going and doing what you want to do.  While you may not be able to stop your bladder issues from continuing due to MS, you should be able to manage it comfortably without the embarrassment of leakage.3, 8

The Importance of Following Doctor’s Orders

If you have been diagnosed with neurogenic bladder, it is important for you to follow your doctor’s orders on your care regimen. If your doctor prescribed and has trained you on self catheterization, be sure that you are self-cathing according to the prescribed number of times per day. People who do not follow their prescribed care regimen for continence care may be at a higher risk of developing more serious conditions like urinary tract infections, urinary retention, and dysfunctional bladder. 8,9

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in people with MS, so you will need to learn to recognize the symptoms of a UTI that include: burning when you urinate, fever, low back pain on one side and a more frequent need to urinate. 2,8

Please note that this information provided by Liberator Medical is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a medical professional.

Using Intermittent Catheters

Depending on your level of progressive MS and your requirements for catheterization, the method you apply for using intermittent catheters may vary.

Clean Intermittent Catheterization [CIC] is where you insert a catheter (a straw like tube) into yourself several times a day to empty your bladder.1,9

Using a clean technique is a key part of hygiene for catheter use regardless of the type of intermittent catheter you are prescribed.  This includes washing your hands and genitalia before cathing.  Making sure the catheter tip does not touch you or other surfaces prior to insertion.  Your health care professional will train you on proper techniques and educate you on the risks and benefits of this procedure.9

Please note that this information provided by Liberator Medical is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a medical professional.

Resources and references for the article above

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMMS)  offers a wide variety of educational materials designed for active living with MS.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMMS) offers a wide variety of educational materials designed for active living with MS, and many of their health resources can also assist with bowel and bladder questions.



  1. Neurogenic Bladder: When Nerve Damage Causes Bladder Problems – Urology Care Foundation: (2014)
  2. Multiple Sclerosis: National Institutes of Health (9/2012):
  3. National Association for Continence – Seeking Treatment (2014):
  4. Managing Progressive MS – National Multiple Sclerosis Society(10/2013):
  5. Cleveland Clinic, Diseases and Conditions – Neurogenic Bladder (11/2012),
  6. Sauerwein D. Urinary tract infections in patients with Neurogenic bladder dysfunction, Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2002 Jun; 19(6):592-7.
  7. J Kesselring, G. Combi, A Thompson, Multiple Sclerosis , Recovery of Function and Neurorehabitation, Cambridge University Press 2010
  8. O Malik, A Donnelly, M Barnett; Fast Facts: Multiple Sclerosis, Health Press, Oxford UK, 2014
  9. D Newman, M Williams,; Review Intermittent Catherization and Current Best Practices, Urologic Nursing, Jan-Feb 2011, Volume 31, Number 1

 Information is as of 12/2014. Please check references for updated information.

Liberator Medical Overview

Liberator Medical Supply, Inc. has been Bringing Better Healthcare Home to You since 1999. We are a national direct-to-consumer provider of sterile intermittent catheters and urological supplies, ostomy supplies, diabetes testing supplies as well as mastectomy bras and breast prostheses.

Liberator Medical received provider accreditation from The Joint Commission, a national accreditation organization authorized by the federal government's centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.


Liberator Medical's Commitment to Customer Care & Service Excellence


  • Access to one of the largest, most complete “on hand” inventories in the U.S.
  • FREE* samples of innovative products from the leading manufacturers so you can be certain you’re using the best products for you and your lifestyle
  • We will never substitute the products you ordered without your consent

Free Service & Support

  • Access to Product Specialists to help you get the best products for your individual needs
  • Customer Support - 24/7 access to the most up-to-date product news and information
  • Online chat with Product Specialists - A fast and discreet way to discuss sensitive issues
  • Access to Physicians - We’ll help you locate a physician if you need to renew your prescription

Insurance & Billing

  • Access to Insurance Specialists - Now you have an ally to help you to maximize your benefits
  • 3-way calls with a Liberator Medical Insurance Specialist, you and your insurer to help you get a full understanding of your insurance coverage
  • We handle all insurance paperwork and billing for you, taking the complexity off your hands
  • We’re in-network with over 3,000 insurance plans, and we're adding additional plans every day

Free** Shipping & Delivery

  • Free** Shipping - Delivered discreetly right to your home or alternate location
  • Advanced Automated Shipping Process - Providing faster and more accurate order delivery
  • Auto-Ship for most Private Insurance Customers

** Free shipping on all Medicare, Medicaid and Private Insurance orders.


  • Free Re-Order Reminders - Never worry about running out of your medical supplies again
  • 14-Day Supply Packs - This package contains 14 days of supplies. When opening this package last, call us to help ensure you’ll get your next order on time