How is a Q-tip test for urinary incontinence done?

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Jill Rabin
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
While you are on the examining table, body reclined - with your legs up in stirrups - a Q-Tip lubricated with anesthetic gel is inserted into your urethra (the opening to your bladder). Don’t worry. It doesn’t hurt. You are then asked to cough and strain, and the doctor will observe how the cotton swab reacts. Too much movement of the Q-Tip may be indicative of weak pelvic floor and urethral connective tissue, which may place a woman at risk for incontinence.
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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.