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Neurogenic Bladder Issues for Children with Spina Bifida

Children with Spina Bifida often need to perform intermittent catheterisation or take other medical steps to help empty their bladder.

Using Intermittent Catheters - Children with Spina Bifida

Children with spina bifida often can’t control when they need to go to the bathroom because the nerves that control their bowel and bladder are damaged. If a child has problems emptying their bladder completely, they can develop problems with urinary tract and kidney infections.4

Healthcare providers and parents agree that when it comes to continence care management, it is best for children and their caregivers’ for the child to become as independent and educated on intermittent catheter use as early as possible.

Using a clean technique is a key part of hygiene for catheter use in children. Additionally, many children born with spina bifida also have a latex [natural rubber] allergy, so it is important that children with SB who self-cath must use a type of intermittent catheter that is latex-free.4

With help, it is possible for children with SB to learn how to go to the bathroom on their own. Discretion is a key part of a daily continence care regimen, as most intermittent catheter users don’t want anyone to know about their catheter use. However, privacy is especially important to children when it comes to their bathroom routines.5

With these factors in mind, BARD has created educational videos, resources and products to help your child to be as independent and private as possible in their daily intermittent catheter use.


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


4. March of Dimes. (2009). Birth defects: Spina Bifida. Available online at:
5. Spina Bifida Association. (2008). Spina Bifida. Available online at: