Are you incontinent? Most people know right away that something is wrong. But if your incontinence is in its earliest stages, some people can find it hard to tell whether they really have a problem. Moreover, younger people may think that they are immune to the problems of incontinence. If you suspect or even have a small inkling that you have problems related to incontinence, it is important that you visit your health care professional in order to get the correct diagnosis.
Even if you know for sure that you suffer from some form of incontinence, it is important to visit a health care professional to get a definitive diagnosis. There are many different forms of incontinence. It is important to learn what kind of incontinence you suffer from. There may be a deeper rooted, underlying medical condition that can be causing your incontinence, so it is very important to get the proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you can get a good diagnosis, the sooner you can tackle the potentially embarrassing problem of incontinence. Here is a brief overview of the tests you may take when you visit your doctor’s office.
First, your health care professional will perform a routine physical exam. This will include a genital exam in men, a pelvic exam in women, and a rectal exam. In some cases, a pelvic exam may be able to reveal the problem in women right away. A pelvic exam can show that t the urethra or bladder is clearly moving into the vaginal space. However, in some cases a visual inspection will not be enough. Your health care provider may deem it necessary to take other tests.
Other tests may include a post-void residual exam. A post-void residual exam is done in order to measure the amount of urine that is left in you after you have urinated. Another common test that your doctor may decide to take is a urinalysis or a urine culture. This can easily help to rule out any instance of a urinary tract infection. Another common urinary test may be a urinary stress test. This is when you may be asked to drink water until your bladder becomes full. Then you are asked to stand while the doctor checks your stress ability. That is, your ability to cough or sneeze without releasing urine.
Another common test is the pad test. This is done by placing a sanitary pad that is pre-weighed under the patient. The patient is then asked to complete a series of exercises. Following the exercises, the pad is then weighted again to determine how much, if any, urine was lost by the patient during the course of the exercises.
There are also tests available if the cause of your incontinence is not obvious. X-ray tests can help determine bladder or kidney issues. Cystoscopy can inspect the inside of your bladder. Another test that may be done is an abdominal ultrasound. Finally, urodynamic studies can be done to help measure the flow and pressure of the urine flow.