How can I know if I have a problem with urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is often diagnosed by reviewing your history. Your doctor may ask you to keep a journal of your urination for a few days prior to your appointment, which can include such information as how much you drank, when and how much you urinated, and how often you were unable to make it to the bathroom in time. Your doctor may also test your blood and urine for other underlying causes of the incontinence. Additional tests may be used if more information is needed.
Ja-Hong Kim, MD
Urology
Doctors diagnose urinary incontinence beginning with a history and a physical exam. They also do a urinalysis to check for infection. When you have an infection, bacteria can cause damage to the lining of the bladder and urethra, which causes irritation - the urge to go. If you have the urge to go, it may not be overactive bladder at all, but rather an infection that has not been diagnosed and can be treated with antibiotics. Depending on the results of the first examination and urinalysis, your doctor may perform further tests.
Jill Rabin
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

To know if you have a problem with urinary incontinence, ask yourself these questions and see if you answer yes to any of them:

• Does your bladder rule your life?

• Do you know the location of a bathroom everywhere you go
  (especially shopping)?

• When you’re somewhere new, do you scout out the bathrooms as
  quickly as possible?

• Do you avoid long trips because you might be too far from a restroom?

• Do you leak when you laugh, cough, sneeze, lift, or hear running
  water?

• Do you have trouble making it to the bathroom?

• Do you run to the bathroom several times an hour?

• Do you have sudden, uncontrollable urges to use a bathroom?

• Do you wake up often during the night?

Mind Over Bladder: I Never Met a Bathroom I Didn't Like!

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Mind Over Bladder: I Never Met a Bathroom I Didn't Like!

Advance praise for Mind Over Bladder "Where is the closest bathroom?" If you listen hard enough, these are the words you hear from the lips of millions of women as they enter malls, lobbies, museums,...

Continue Learning about Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (UI) is the accidental release of urine, which can affect both men and women. Symptoms of UI may differ from person to person and the treatment options range from medications to surgery. Learn more from our ex...

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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.