The Effects of a Ruptured Disc on the Body
Doctor Advice

The Effects of a Ruptured Disc on the Body

Question: Ruptured discs and bladder function?

I have a ruptured disc in my low back and was wondering if this can affect the bladder function as well as sexual performance?

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Doctor's response: Get medical help immediately

Yes, a ruptured disc (also called a herniated disc) can directly affect the bladder function and cause incontinence - either the inability to hold urine or the inability to empty the bladder.

If you have these symptoms you should contact your physician immediately, as these symptoms can indicate a serious medical condition (cauda equina syndrome) and prompt surgical treatment would be needed.

Indirectly, a herniated disc may affect sexual function if you are in a lot of pain. The nerves in the low back that are typically affected by a herniated disc are not directly involved with sexual performance.

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In Spine-health’s Doctor Advice section, physicians respond to frequently asked questions about back pain issues. These responses represent the opinion of one physician, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the broader medical community. The advice presented has not been peer reviewed by Spine-health’s medical advisory board.