Aging & Health A to Z
Diagnosis & Tests
Your healthcare professional will give you a medical exam to evaluate your physical health. He or she may also conduct specific pelvic examinations . Your healthcare professional may do a stress test, in which you're asked to cough or bear down as he or she examines you and watches for loss of urine.
In addition, he or she will test your urine and may also do a blood test. If you feel the need to urinate often during the day or night, your healthcare professional may also ask you to keep a “bladder diary.” In this diary, you will write down what time you urinate and how much, for a few days. Your healthcare provider may also ask you to track other things in your diary. Depending upon what these initial tests show, an additional test might be done to measure how much urine is left in your bladder after you go to the bathroom.
Your healthcare professional will also ask you what prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and other supplements you take, since some of these may contribute to UI as well. If this is the case, he or she will look for alternatives that don’t raise your risk of urinary incontinence.
In addition, your healthcare professional will ask the following questions to help determine what kind of UI you have and the best treatment for you:
- How often do you have to use the bathroom, how often do you lose control of your bladder, and how often do you need to urinate during the night?
- Do you have any pain when you urinate?
- What types of beverages do you drink and how much?
- Do you have any symptoms of fecal incontinence (loss of bowel control)?
- Do you have difficulty walking or carrying out activities of daily living such as using the toilet or bathing?
Updated: October 2014
Posted: March 2012