Frequent Micturition is a term you may not have encountered before but, if like me, you have MS then there is an 80% chance that you have or will experience the condition. The term micturition is simply an alternative word for urination.

This may appear to be an unsavoury topic for an InfoBarrel article but, for an individual experiencing the problem it will be pertinent.

Frequent Micturition is one of a number of bladder control problems that may be associated with Multiple Sclerosis. Urinary urgency and urinary hesitancy are the most common issues.[1]

I have encountered both experiences at different times during the course of my MS. Initially urinary urgency would require sudden, rushed visits to the toilet. If I was in a situation where a toilet was not immediately available, the resulting consequence was, not surprisingly, an embarrassing accident.

Latterly, while the above problem persists intermittently, urinary hesitancy is becoming the greater problem. This is where you can experience a strong urge or need to urinate but, cannot pass water at all. This can be particularly frustrating, sometimes even painful, and can make life with MS very difficult.

These issues can be attribute to a lack of muscle control from the central nervous system (CNS). The muscle surrounding the bladder and the urinary sphincter must be synchronised for full control of the evacuation of the bladder.

In MS, this muscle control is lost resulting in either or both of the above symptoms. This is embarrassing, frustrating and unhygienic. I have been reasonably fortunate, thus far, not to have experienced too many incidences of nocturia the term I found on the MS Society website for bed-wetting.[2]

Some years ago, I had been referred to our local MS centre, the Fife Neuro-rehabilitation Service at the Sir George Sharp Unit in Cameron Hospital near Leven. Here I saw a physiotherapist and the MS nurse to assess my condition. One of the tests involved a sonic scan of the bladder which revealed that I was not emptying my bladder fully when urinating. This can cause bladder infection and it was recommended I commence self-catheterization to address this deficiency.

Self-catheterization is a degrading, uncomfortable process requiring a catheter to be passed along the urethra to the bladder whence, once the sphincter has been broached, gravity takes over and the bladder empties.

I continued with the self-catheterization for several months as emptying my bladder by this means provided relief from the neuralgia like pains I was suffering when my bladder filled.

I gave up when it became apparent that the process was no longer working and, despite my hygiene care while self-catheterizing, I was contracting repeated bladder infections. These are more correctly referred to as urinary tract infections (UTIs) as they are just as likely to occur in the urethra as in the bladder itself.

If UTIs go untreated they can cause kidney problems becoming much more serious than embarrassing leakage or unwanted pain.

I have taken to wearing Tena Lady Protective Underwear, not because I am a lady, but because we were given a pack of the incontinence pants, apparently, as a joke. It was a secret Santa gift that my wife was given at her work as a tongue-in-cheek dig at her age. They were of no use to her, but I am able to make use of them, so I do.