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Diagnosing Male Incontinence

The first step in diagnosing male incontinence is talking to your healthcare provider. To help in diagnosing male incontinence, your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam, to check for prostate enlargement, or nerve damage. Certain tests may also be used as part of diagnosing male incontinence.

Diagnosing Male Incontinence: An Introduction

The first step in solving a urinary problem is talking to your healthcare provider. Your general medical history, including any major illnesses or surgeries, and details about your continence problem, and when it started, will help your doctor determine the cause. You should talk about how much fluid you drink each day, and whether you use alcohol or caffeine. You should also discuss the medicines you take, both prescription and nonprescription, because they might be part of the problem.
Diagnosing Male Incontinence: Voiding Diary
You may be asked to keep a voiding diary, which is a record of fluid intake, and trips to the bathroom, plus any episodes of leakage. Studying the diary will give your healthcare provider a better idea of your problem, and help direct additional tests.
Diagnosing Male Incontinence: Physical Examination
A physical exam will check for prostate enlargement or nerve damage. In a digital rectal exam, the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and feels the part of the prostate next to it. This exam gives the doctor a general idea of the size and condition of the gland. To check for nerve damage, the doctor may ask about tingling sensations or feelings of numbness, and may check for changes in sensation, muscle tone, and reflexes.
Diagnosing Male Incontinence: EEG and EMG
An electroencephalogram (EEG), a test in which wires are taped to the forehead, can sense dysfunction in the brain. An electromyogram (EMG) measures nerve activity in muscles, and muscular activity that may be related to loss of bladder control.
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