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Urinary Incontinence Diagnosis

To help in diagnose urinary incontinence, your doctor will first ask about your symptoms and medical history. Your doctor will then physically examine you for signs of medical conditions that may cause urinary incontinence. As part of diagnosing urinary incontinence, your doctor will also measure your bladder capacity and residual urine for evidence of poorly functioning bladder muscles.

How Is Urinary Incontinence Diagnosed? -- An Introduction

The first step toward relief is to see a doctor, who is well acquainted with urinary incontinence, to learn what type you have.
 
A urologist specializes in the urinary tract, and some urologists further specialize in the female urinary tract. Gynecologists and obstetricians specialize in the female 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.
 

Diagnosing Urinary Incontinence -- The Medical History

To help in diagnosing urinary incontinence, your doctor will first ask about your symptoms and medical history. Your pattern of voiding (discharging) and urine leakage may suggest the type of urinary incontinence. Other obvious factors that can help define the problem include:
 
  • Straining
  • Discomfort
  • Use of drugs
  • Recent surgery
  • Illness.
     
If your medical history does not define the problem, it will at least suggest which tests are needed.
 

Diagnosing Urinary Incontinence: Physical Exam

Your doctor will physically examine you for signs of medical conditions that may cause urinary incontinence, such as:
 
  • Tumors that block the urinary tract
  • Stool impaction
  • Poor reflexes or sensations, which may be evidence of a nerve-related cause.
     
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