A reflex incontinence is caused by diseases or injuries of the brain or spinal cord. The neural connection between brain and the responsible centers for bladder emptying in the spinal cord is disrupted. Bladder and sphincter function can therefore no longer be controlled or coordinated, and it comes to the unwanted leakage of urine.
Reflex incontinence can be distinguished into:
Spinal reflex incontinence:
At spinal reflex incontinence, the bladder muscle reflexively contracts but the person feels no urge to urinate. Due to the disconnected nerve connection between brain and spinal cord the bladder muscle cannot be controlled willingly anymore. As a result, it comes to the involuntary loss of urine. (Multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury)
Supraspinal refelx incontinence:
As a result of brain disorders the control of arbitrary bladder emptying is lost. It comes to involuntary loss of urine in alternating intervals without previous urge to urinate. (Dementia, Alzheimer's disease)
Most important in the treatment of reflex incontinence is the protection of the kidney. Complete bladder emptying with low pressure is important. For this purpose, the method of self catheterization is recommended. In addition, electrostimulation can be applied additionally. If the intermittent self catheterization is not successful, an operation can lead to the desired success.