Bladder and Bowel Incontinence with MS


Bladder dysfunction occurs in at least 80% of people living with multiple sclerosis both at night and during the day. It can usually be treated quite successfully.

Treatment strategies include dietary and fluid management, medications and intermittent or continual catheterisation (inserting a thin tube into the bladder to remove urine).

Bladder dysfunction develops because multiple sclerosis blocks or delays the transmission of nerve signals in areas of the central nervous system that controls the bladder and urinary sphincter.


Bowel dysfunction/constipation is a particular concern among people with multiple sclerosis, although diarrhoea, incontinence (or loss of control) and other problems of the stomach and bowels can also occur throughout the day and night.

Causes of constipation include insufficient fluid intake, reduced physical activity and mobility and decreased or slowed "motility" (movement of food through the intestinal tract). Certain medications, such as antidepressants or drugs used to control bladder symptoms, may also cause constipation.Loss of bowel control in multiple sclerosis may be neurologic in origin or related to constipation and should be evaluated by a health care provider generally a physician or nurse).

Create your own personalised incontinence symptom report using the Get your ACT together tool. The content is designed for people in the ACT, however it’s filled with information and handy tips and tricks that are useful for all people living with multiple sclerosis to remain more comfortable throughout the day and night, wherever you live. The tool focuses on emotions, fatigue and continence, cognition, heat sensitivity, and pain.

Learn more: publications

Learn more: MS Continence Assessment 

MS Continence Advisor can meet with you to assess your needs and help you with this symptom. The continence assessment is all about looking into what products, treatments and other strategies will help you take control of your bowel and bladder issues. This assessment comes under the ‘Activities of daily living’ support cluster in your NDIS plan. Find out more about MS Continence Assessment.

Learn more: Webinar Recordings

Bladder & Bowel Changes in Multiple Sclerosis

Many people living with multiple sclerosis experience changes to their bowel and bladder function as a result of their multiple sclerosis and other symptoms. Join MS Continence Nurse Advisor, Fiona Easton and learn about the issues relating to continence, whilst offering tips and and strategies that will help you manage your symptoms. (Recorded 15 September 2020)

Webinar handouts: Bladder and Bowel Changes in Multiple Sclerosis 


Great Ideas for Managing Bladder Issues and Enjoying More Freedom and Confidence

Many people with MS experience bladder issues and they are definitely not alone. There are many things that can be done to manage bladder issues more successfully. Join this webinar, presented by MS Clinical Nurse Consultant in Continence, Vanessa Colusso and discover great ideas and tips to help build your confidence and improve your sense of freedom as you learn how to manage your bladder issues better. (Recorded 16 February 2022)

Webinar handouts: Great Ideas for Managing Bladder Issues and Enjoying More Freedom and Confidence

Learn more: upcoming programs

Visit our MS Education section to learn more about upcoming programs. For more information or to register please email or call MS Connect™ (Freecall 1800 042 138).


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