Sex Differences in Bladder Management, Symptoms, and Satisfaction after Spinal Cord Injury

Jeremy B. Myers, John T. Stoffel, Sean P. Elliott, Blayne Welk, Jennifer S. Herrick, Sara M. Lenherr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose:We sought to characterize sex-stratified differences in bladder management and bladder symptoms and satisfaction after spinal cord injury.Materials and Methods:This study was a prospective, cross-sectional, observational study; eligibility included: age ≥18 years and acquired spinal cord injury. Bladder management was grouped as (1) clean intermittent catheterization, (2) indwelling catheter, (3) surgery, and (4) voiding. Primary outcome was Neurogenic Bladder Symptom Score. Secondary outcomes were subdomains of the Neurogenic Bladder Symptom Score and bladder-related satisfaction. Multivariable regression was used in sex-stratified models to establish associations between participant characteristics and outcomes.Results:A total of 1,479 participants enrolled in the study. Of the patients 843 (57%) were paraplegic and 585 (40%) were women. Median age and time from injury were 44.9 (IQR 34.3, 54.1) and 11 (IQR 5.1, 22.4) years. Women utilized clean intermittent catheterization at a lower rate (42.6% vs 56.5%) and surgery at a higher rate (22.6% vs 7.0%), especially catheterizable channel creation with or without augmentation cystoplasty (11.0% vs 1.9%). Women had worse measures of bladder symptoms and satisfaction across all outcomes. In adjusted analyses, women and men utilizing indwelling catheters had fewer associated overall symptoms (Neurogenic Bladder Symptom Score), less incontinence, and fewer storage and voiding symptoms. Surgery was associated with fewer bladder symptoms (Neurogenic Bladder Symptom Score) and less incontinence in women, and was also associated with better satisfaction in both sexes.Conclusions:There are significant sex-stratified differences in bladder management after spinal cord injury, which included a much higher use of surgery. Bladder symptoms and satisfaction are worse across all measurements in women. Women have a substantial associated benefit with surgery, while both sexes have fewer bladder symptoms with indwelling catheters compared to clean intermittent catheterization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-669
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • neurogenic
  • patient reported outcome measures
  • sex
  • spinal cord injuries
  • urinary bladder
  • urinary incontinence

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


Dive into the research topics of 'Sex Differences in Bladder Management, Symptoms, and Satisfaction after Spinal Cord Injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this