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What to do?

Patients with incontinence should be referred to a medical practitioner specializing in this field. Urologists specialize in the urinary tract, and some urologists further specialize in female urinary tract. A urogynecologist is a gynecologist who has special training in urological problems in women. Gynecologists and obstericians specialize in the female reproductive tract and childbirth and some also treat urinary incontinence in women.

Family practicioners and internists see patients for all kinds of complaints and can refer patients on to the relevant specialists.

A careful history taking especially in the pattern of voiding and urine leakage as it suggests the type of incontinence faced. Other important points include straining and discomfort, use of drugs, recent surgery and illness.

The physical examination will focus on looking for signs of medical conditions causing incontinence, such as tumors that block the urinary tract, stool impaction and poor reflexes or sensations, which may be evidence of a nerve-related cause.

A test often performed is the measurement of bladder capacity and residual urine for evidence of poorly functioning bladder muscles.


A good diaganosis is essential to treat correctly incontinence and prolapse.

Types of tests

Stress Test

The patient relaxes, then coughs vigorously as the doctor watches for loss of urine.


Urine is tested for evidence of infection, urinary stones, or other contributing causes.

Blood tests

Blood is taken, sent to a laboratory, and examined for substances related to causes of incontinence.


Sound waves are used to visualize the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.


A thin tube with a tiny camera is inserted in the urethra and used to see the inside of the urethra and bladder.


Various techniques measure pressure in the bladder and the flow of urine.