After you talk about your symptoms, your health care provider may do a physical exam. You may need other tests or a separate appointment to see if you have SUI. You may be sent to a specialist, such as a urologist or female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgeon. Some urologists and female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgeons specialize in incontinence and SUI.
Here are some things your health care provider may do to find the cause of SUI:
Your Medical History
Your health care provider will ask about your symptoms, how long you’ve had them, and how they’re are affecting you. A medical history will include questions about:
- Your past and present health problems
- Over-the-Counter and prescription drugs you usually take
- Your diet
- How much and what kinds of liquids you drink daily
You maybe embarrassed answering questions about leakage or giving your medical history. But health care providers are used to hearing about all kinds of problems. They are there to help you, not judge you. This information will help find the best way to treat your problem.
The Physical Exam
Your health care provider may do a pelvic exam to learn how strong your pelvic floor muscles and sphincter muscles are. For women, your physical exam may include checking your abdomen, the organs in your pelvis, and your rectum. For men, a physical exam may include checking your abdomen, prostate and rectum.
You might be asked to wear a pad while doing an activity or exercising. The pad is then weighed to learn how much you leak during physical activity.
Your health care provider may ask you to keep a "bladder diary". This can keep track of your day-to-day symptoms. In your diary, you will record what fluids you drink and how often you go to the bathroom. You also need to note when you have leaks. Include what you were doing when the leak happened, such as exercising, coughing or sneezing.
Your health care provider may also ask for:
- A urine sample to test for infection or blood
- A bladder scan (ultrasound of your bladder) to show how much urine stays in your bladder after you urinate
- Urodynamic testing to see how well your lower urinary tract store and release urine
- A cytoscopy where a narrow tube with a tiny camera is used to see into the bladder to rule out problems