Living Better With Incontinence

Diagnosing Urine Leakage Problems

It’s hard to believe that although 25 million Americans are reported to suffer from urinary incontinence, that number is likely much, much higher in reality. This is because there are so many people who simply do not seek treatment. For example, 80% of women with overactive bladder have not spoken with a professional about it. If you are at the point where it is time to see a doctor about your urinary incontinence, here is a little rundown of what you can expect.

These tests will help to find out the nature of your incontinence and what treatments may be right for you.

Urinary Stress Test

During this procedure the doctor will have you cough while standing to examine if and how much you are involuntarily leaking urine.

Pad Test

A sanitary pad will be worn during exercise to determine the volume of urine that is being leaked.

PVR Test

A PVR, or post-void residual, test quantifies how much urine remains in your bladder after using the bathroom. There are two ways the PVR is done: draining by catheter or determining through an ultrasound.


A urine sample may be taken, mostly to rule out urinary tract infection. UTI’s can have symptoms like leaking urine.

Cystometry Test

This measures your bladder pressure as well as urinary flow. Cystometry procedures may be slightly uncomfortable, but they are not painful.


In order to see if there is anything unusual going on in your urinary tract your doctor may order x-rays with contrast dye.

In addition to one or more of these procedures, your doctor might want to perform a pelvic exam.

So, like they say, knowing is half the battle. Now that you know what may lie in store for you at the doctor’s office, there’s no reason to feel embarrassed or skittish when it comes to diagnosing your incontinence. Tests like these can really target your unique problems and help put you on the path to better urinary health.

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