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Diagnostic Tests for Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence: Diagnostic Tests

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Urinary Incontinence includes:

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Urinary Incontinence:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Urinary Incontinence:

Urinary Incontinence in Women: NIDDK (Excerpt)

The first step toward relief is to see a doctor who is well acquainted with incontinence to learn the type you have. A urologist specializes in the urinary tract. Gynecologists and obstetricians specialize in the woman's reproductive tract and childbirth. A urogynecologist focuses on urological problems in women. Family practitioners and internists see patients for all kinds of complaints. Any of these doctors may be able to help you.

To diagnose the problem, your doctor will first ask about symptoms and medical history. Your pattern of voiding and urine leakage may suggest the type of incontinence. Other obvious factors that can help define the problem include straining and discomfort, use of drugs, recent surgery, and illness. If your medical history does not define the problem, it will at least suggest which tests are needed.

Your doctor will physically examine you for signs of medical conditions causing incontinence, such as tumors that block the urinary tract, stool impaction, and poor reflexes or sensations, which may be evidence of a nerve-related cause.

Your doctor will measure your bladder capacity and residual urine for evidence of poorly functioning bladder muscles. To do this, you will drink plenty of fluids and urinate into a measuring pan, after which the doctor will measure any urine remaining in the bladder. Your doctor may also recommend

  • Stress test--You relax, then cough vigorously as the doctor watches for loss of urine.

  • Urinalysis--Urine is tested for evidence of infection, urinary stones, or other contributing causes.

  • Blood tests--Blood is taken, sent to a laboratory, and examined for substances related to causes of incontinence.

  • Ultrasound--Sound waves are used to "see" the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

  • Cystoscopy--A thin tube with a tiny camera is inserted in the urethra and used to see the urethra and bladder.

  • Urodynamics--Various techniques measure pressure in the bladder and the flow of urine.
Your doctor may ask you to keep a diary to record when you void for a day or more, up to a week. This diary should note the times you urinate and the amounts of urine you produce. To measure your urine, you can use a special pan that fits over the toilet rim. (Source: excerpt from Urinary Incontinence in Women: NIDDK)

Cystoscopy and Ureteroscopy: NIDDK (Excerpt)

When you have a urinary problem, your doctor may use a cystoscope to see the inside of your bladder and urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The cystoscope has lenses like a telescope or microscope. These lenses let the doctor focus on the inner surfaces of the urinary tract. Some cystoscopes use optical fibers (flexible glass fibers) that carry an image from the tip of the instrument to a viewing piece at the other end. The cystoscope is as thin as a pencil and has a light at the tip. Many cystoscopes have extra tubes to guide other instruments for procedures to treat urinary problems (Source: excerpt from Cystoscopy and Ureteroscopy: NIDDK)

Talking to Your Health Care Team About Bladder Control: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Even if you feel shy, it is up to you to take the first step. Some doctors do not treat bladder control problems, so they don't ask about it. Others might expect you to bring up the subject.

Because bladder control problems are common, your doctor has probably heard many stories like yours. If your doctor does not treat bladder problems, ask for help finding someone who can help you. (Source: excerpt from Talking to Your Health Care Team About Bladder Control: NIDDK)

Urinary Incontinence -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA (Excerpt)

The first and most important step in treating incontinence is to see a doctor for a complete medical exam. The doctor will ask for a detailed history of your health and give you a physical exam. The doctor may want to check urine samples. You may be referred to a urologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract, or to a gynecologist, a specialist in the female reproductive system. (Source: excerpt from Urinary Incontinence -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

Diagnosis of Urinary Incontinence: medical news summaries:

The following medical news items are relevant to diagnosis of Urinary Incontinence:

 

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