Bladder and bowel issues, MS, cervical cancer

I’m new around here, so first of all, hi, thanks for having me :slight_smile:

So, quick background…
About a year and a half ago I started having balance issues, and they got rapidly worse until my ability to get about had been seriously damaged and I needed a stick to walk. Other things started going wrong, such as a period of around a month where one of my feet just stopped picking up properly, rendering me more or less housebound, and I started getting double vision. I also lost a significant amount of control over my bladder and bowels. I would struggle to go when I knew I needed to, but would then suddenly have an urge to go and have only moments to respond and get to a bathroom, or I’d just start going with no control. I also started wetting myself during the night. It was kind of assumed that this was a related neurological issue. I don’t have any kind of diagnosis, although an MRI picked up CNS inflammation and multiple lesions, and MS was raised as a possibility. They tried for a lumbar but without success; after an hour and a half of getting stabbed in nerves they sent me home because it wasn’t safe to give me any more local anaesthetic.

However, now I’ve started having some issues related to female health, including, after years and years of not having periods, suddenly getting frequent and random bleeding, sometimes lasting multiple weeks without a break. The doctor seemed pretty concerned by this and has referred me for urgent scans and a smear, and obviously, what he’s checking for is cervical cancer. So I found my way to Google, and looked up other symptoms, and found that bladder and bowel issues are a frequent one.

Obviously, at this point, there’s nothing I can actually know for sure until I get more tests and results, and given how slowly everything in the NHS is moving, I know I should just make myself comfortable here in the land of uncertainty. Also, hopefully the smear and scans will show nothing of concern. But I can’t help but wonder… What has the experience of others with MS been? Are both bladder and bowel issues, combining both difficulties emptying on command and urgency issues, something that might be seen in MS?

Thanks to anyone taking the time to read this or reply :slight_smile:

Hi and welcome to the forum.Sorry to hear you are having all these issues.The bowel and bladder issues you mention i get with my MS.I go from being badly constipated for months and then urgency issues can follow.I put it down to MS and i think its quite a common symptom in MS.I hope you get some much needed asnswers soon as being in limbo is just awful.x

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one of the biggest issues of rMSERS is bowl and bladder. before diagnosis i had so many UTI it wasnt funny anymore.

I am sorry to hear about your other issues. usually if anything bad is suspected the NHS MOVE pretty fast. You dont need a lumbur to be diagnosed with MS. My neuro wont even do them now as they are too intrusive. they can go on a wait and see approach which is safer in the long run IMHO. I was diagnosed through VEP eventually.

I dont know how old you are but could you have endometriosis. My daughter had that with your sympoms.

so anyway BOWELS and BLADDER yep nightmare lol. xxxbowel and bladder issues MS


Welcome to the forum. I’m sorry you’ve had cause to find your way here.

It sounds to me that you have two separate issues going on and you perhaps need to split them in your own mind in order that they are treated properly.

First there’s the neurological issues. Balance, eyes, feet, bowel and bladder issues. You’ve had an MRI that’s shown up ‘multiple lesions’. As CC said, a lumbar puncture isn’t essential for a an MS diagnosis. I think you should be seeing the neurologist again and getting their view on what is wrong neurologically.

By all means, bowel and bladder problems such as you’ve described are common with MS.

Then there’s bleeding years after stopping periods. I assume this means you are post menopausal? If so, vaginal bleeding is serious and it’s no wonder your doctor is rushing to get scans and a smear test done ASAP.

Hopefully nothing nasty is found on the scans.


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Thanks you all for the replies!

I am seeing the neuro again next month. I had a second MRI, which I’m waiting for the results on (results appointment fully 3 and a half months after the scan, which was the same with the first one), and I’m really hoping that one way or another it means I don’t need another attempt at a lumbar! Honestly, I’m sure it makes me sound kind of wimp but I actually had flashbacks for like a week after that first try, especially to the first go where the anaesthetic didn’t work and I felt the needle all the way to the point where they hit a nerve, but I failed to say anything because I hadn’t been sure quite what I was supposed to be expecting. It was only after the attempts after that with further doses of local that I realised I shouldn’t have felt the entire thing lol.

Very useful to know that those particular bladder / bowel symptoms are common with MS. It’s odd; I don’t know quite what I’m hoping for. I guess the one thing I can be sure of is that nothing they can say will mean I’ve not been having these issues. I guess I’m hoping that everything is caused by one issue, whether that’s MS or not, and that the bleeding can be explained by some other entirely innocuous thing. It would certainly suck to have both an abnormal smear and a second abnormal MRI within months of one another, although I keep trying to remind myself that right now I don’t actually know either thing with certainty.

They’re not quite sure why I stopped getting periods, although I only ever had very irregular ones a few times a year, even back when I used to (it’s been more than 5 years since I last had a period). I have PCOS so they said maybe it’s because of that, and it was also suggested that maybe I’m just not fertile. I saw a gynaecologist years ago, and had a telephone consult with an endocrinologist last year, both of whom confirmed PCOS, and the endocrinologist suggested I consider starting something to give me artificial periods, and said that otherwise there was an increased risk I might develop cancer. My GP wrote to get their opinion on what Med we should use, and before they could get back it was this year and I started randomly bleeding. I guess I wondered whether I’d been a little foolish to just assume the continence issues were neurological, without considering other potential causes.

For the smear, yesterday I got given an appointment in mid-June and was told that they didn’t have any other spaces because they’d not been doing them all through the pandemic, but then this morning I got a call from the surgery saying that the doctor had said that they needed it done sooner than that so it got moved up to a week today. So at least on that front it looks like the wait isn’t going to be so bad as I was expecting - thank heavens for small mercies! I don’t suppose anyone enjoys a smear, but I’ve only managed to have one in the past and I’m definitely a nervous patient. Keep telling myself that if I got through the fear of weeing in the MRI machine, I can get through a smear lol. As to endometriosis, anything is possible I guess but I’ve never had heavy periods or any significant pain, so the symptoms don’t really match so far as I’m aware. It’s just very random bleeding with very short breaks, and quite significant bloating. A lot of the other symptoms of cervical cancer seem to be very vague, and the kind of things that people tend to experience from time to time anyway, like backache and gas, so it would be altogether too easy to tell myself I have those too.

Hi I was 23 years old no endo i knew of. suddenly had to have emergency operation when i was 3 months pregnant. had a beign cyst thing with teeth and hair removed it was massive. baby went to term thankully. a few years later without warning i suddenly started to have heavy bleed smear etc all clear, they found i had massive fibros and endometriosis which was spreading. so at 26ish i had total hysterectomy. I didnt have classic systems of endo. endo is actually an auto immune disease and with resarching i found an actual link to women who had endo and developing MS later that was an eye opener.

I am hoping for you the heavy bleeding is down to your poly cystic issues. xxxx keep positive. xxx hugs.

Oh bless you, that sounds so stressful! And a hysterectomy at that age must have been so difficult to come to terms with. At least your little one went to term, one blessing in amongst the chaos!

Until this thread I hadn’t realised endo was also autoimmune; what a very interesting and bonkers (literal) bodyguard that is. I googled fibroids too after reading your post and it feels like maybe that could be a chance too. I know your average gyno would hate to hear me say it, but it kind of starts to feel like that whole system is completely beyond my understanding. Partly I mean in terms of not being able to even slightly guess what the issue might be, which I suppose does make sense, but also like, whilst I can wrap my head around the basics and cycles and such, I also feel a little like, if someone told me that doctors had discovered a tiny hidden door inside every woman’s uterus that lead to a parallel universe and that that’s actually where babies come from, part of me would be like, sure, that makes sense lol :smile:

Strangely enough, I just happened across an article from Dr Jen Gunter (aka ‘Twitter’s Gynaecologist’) on her blog about how some people have been finding the COVID vaccine messes up their periods or causes unusual bleeding. Granted, my issues have been going on a little longer than that, but my craziest bleeding has been since I got the jab. No suggestion from her that it’s anything at all to worry about, to be very clear, and certainly no reason not to get the jab; just another interesting mystery of the inner workings of the body, and does make me wonder if it might have played a role in the very craziest recent bleeding of mine.

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