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What kind of physical exams help diagnose overactive bladder?

Ja-Hong Kim, MD
Urology
On a physical exam for overactive bladder, your doctor will evaluate for potential bladder prolapse by doing a pelvic exam. He or she will look at vaginal atrophy and conduct a cough and stress test to see if there’s any leakage. He or she will also evaluate the integrity of the pubic musculature.

Your doctor will also talk about neurologic symptoms, gait disturbances and normal speech pattern. He or she will look for lower extremity edema, or swelling, which can affect nighttime-free urination. Your doctor will have to assess cognitive function because if you have altered mental status, it can affect your access to the toilet.
Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Your doctor will conduct a physical exam to find the cause of your symptoms. The exam may include:

- An pelvic exam
- A urine sample to test for infection, blood or other abnormalities
- A neurological exam that may identify abnormal reflexes

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.