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Spina Bifida

It is one of the most important congenital diseases that cause urinary incontinence. Its incidence is between 1-2 per thousand, but it is estimated to be 5-6 per thousand in Turkey. The protective sheath (spine) around the spinal cord cannot be fully closed on the back and there is usually a congenital opening at the waist level. In the disease, the spinal cord is also affected, and walking, urination and pooping functions are adversely affected. If not controlled, enlargement (hydrocephalus) occurs as a result of excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the head. The pressure in the urinary bladder becomes too high and the kidneys are damaged, the patient constantly leaks urine and poop, and walking is not possible in many of them. It is possible to prevent this disease by 80% with a vitamin called folic acid, which will be taken three months before pregnancy. In developed countries, all expectant parents are encouraged to have a planned pregnancy and to take Folic acid (0.4 mg per day) before pregnancy. The disease can be diagnosed in pregnancy at a high rate with an Ultrasound examination and AFP test to be performed at the 16th week of pregnancy. During this period, if the family wishes, the pregnancy can be terminated or given birth under appropriate conditions. Many of these patients fall into the disability group, as their ailments last a lifetime. There are associations of these patients in every country, they work both to prevent the disease and to facilitate the lives of existing patients. The association working for this purpose in Turkey is the Spina Bifida Association.

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