Advertisement

What is Bladder Exstrophy?

Male Urinary Tract
Male Urinary Tract
Medical Illustration Copyright © 2015 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved

Female Urinary Tract
Female Urinary Tract
Medical Illustration Copyright © 2015 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved

Sometimes problems happen with the way the bladder forms. The bladder muscles don't develop properly for children with bladder exstrophy.

If your newborn is diagnosed with this condition, read on. This information can help you talk with your child's urologist and plan for the future.

How Does the Bladder Work?

The bladder is a balloon-shaped organ that stores urine (waste). It's held in place by pelvic muscles inside the lower part of your belly.

Under normal conditions, the bladder is located in your lower belly. It is relaxed when it's not full. When urine produced by the kidneys fills the bladder, nerve signals let you feel that it's full. You then feel the need to urinate. The brain's nerve signals tell the bladder muscles to squeeze (or contract). The squeezing (contracting) of your bladder forces urine out of your bladder. The urine then goes through your urethra and out of your body.

What is Bladder Exstrophy?

Bladder exstrophy is a birth defect. It's a condition where the bladder and parts around it form inside-out. The skin, muscle, and pelvic (hip) bones at the lower part of the belly or abdomen are not joined. As a result, the inside of the bladder pokes outside the belly. Instead of its normal round shape, the bladder is flat. There are also problems with the abdominal muscles and pelvic bones.

How Often does Bladder Exstrophy Occur?

Bladder exstrophy is rare. On average, it occurs in about 1 out of every 50,000 live births. It is slightly more common in males than females.

Family history plays a role. Children born to a parent with bladder exstrophy have about a 1 in 70 chance of having it. If a family has one child with this condition, they have a 1 in 100 chance of having another child with it.

Fertility treatments may play a role. Recent studies suggest that children born with assisted fertility are 7 times more likely to have bladder exstrophy.