How is Incontinence Evaluated for Treatment?

The first thing to do when you suspect you may be having a problem with urinary incontinence is to talk with your healthcare professional. Many people do not mention they are having problems because of embarrassment. But, remember your doctor is very familiar with this problem and can help diagnose what is really going on. Most likely you have a bladder control problem that can be treated with physical exercises, so don’t be afraid to have a consultation and exam to find out what the problem is.

There are specialists who only deal with urinary tract problems or just with women who have urinary issues but your family physician and/or healthcare professional can refer you to the appropriate person for your situation if he thinks it is necessary. The most important thing to remember is to respond honestly to their questions and make sure you get all your questions answered also.

There will probably be several aspects to your visit with your doctor. First, the doctor will take a medical history and ask about specific symptoms you have. You might even make a list before your visit to make sure you don’t forget something. The doctor will want to know how your bladder problem manifests itself. So he may ask questions like how often do you urinate, how often do you leak urine when not at the toilet. Any other issues that might be important to know about could be what other medical problems you have and what medications do you take. Don’t forget to mention over the counter drugs that you take.

Your visit could include a physical examination to check for things that may be causing your incontinence like a blockage of the urinary tract or possibly a nerve problem.

While at your appointment you may be asked to give a urine sample to check for infections or other causes. Or, you could be asked to drink a large amount of fluid so your doctor can check for how your bladder muscles are functioning.

Sometimes your doctor may also ask you to do some other tests like blood tests, ultrasound, or a cystoscopy. He may want you to keep a record of how often you urinate and a way to measure the volume of urine that your body makes. All of these tests will help your physician make an accurate diagnosis of the problem.