Your health care provider will ask questions about your symptoms and the situations in which you experience urine leakage. He or she will also ask you about your medical and surgical history, medications, and habits.

Physical Examination

A thorough physical exam will include your abdomen, pelvis (women), rectum (men), and nervous system. You may be referred to a specialist. Physicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders of the urinary tract include urogynecologists (for women) and urologists. Depending upon the type and suspected causes of your particular incontinence, the type of test performed will vary but all will help your health care provider choose a treatment that is right for you.

What are the different types of testing?:

  • Urinalysis: You will be asked to collect a sample of your urine, which will be examined for the presence of infection, blood, or other abnormalities.
  • Post-void residual measurement: This test is performed to see whether any urine remains after you have attempted to empty your bladder completely. Measurements may be made by inserting a small, soft tube, called a catheter, into the bladder to drain the remaining urine or by using sound waves, called ultrasound. When these special sound waves are directed at an organ, such as the bladder, shadow-like images are produced. These images can determine the amount of urine present in the bladder. Ultrasound: This technique also can be used to determine the size and shape of the kidneys, bladder, and prostate.
  • Cystoscopy: A thin telescope-like instrument, called a cystoscope, is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. This test allows a physician to see the inside of the bladder and to visually check for problems.
  • Stress Test: Urodynamic tests examine bladder and sphincter muscle function. Using several such tests, your health care provider can find out whether you have normal bladder sensations and capacity and whether your bladder fills and empties in a normal manner. An x-ray test may be used to establish the degree of change in the position of the bladder and urethra during normal voiding, coughing, or straining
  • Uroflowmetry is performed by having a person urinate into a special funnel that is connected to a measuring instrument. The measuring instrument calculates the amount of urine, rate of flow in seconds, and length of time until completion of the void.

Treatment

Treatment for urinary incontinence depends on the type of incontinence, its severity, and the underlying cause.
A combination of treatments may be needed. If an underlying condition is causing your symptoms, your doctor will first treat that condition.

What is Normal?
A normal bladder empties about 4-6 times per day or every 3-4 hours. 
The bladder can hold 400mls to 600mls of urine (the sensation is perceived usually occurs at 200-300mls)
The bladder has two primary functions. These are storing and voiding urine

The Urinary system

The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra.

  • The kidneys filter the blood to remove wastes and produce urine. ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra together form the urinary tract, which acts as a plumbing system to drain urine from the kidneys, store it, and then release it during urination. Besides filtering and eliminating wastes from the body, the urinary system also maintains the homeostasis of water, ions, pH, blood pressure, calcium and red blood cells
  • The kidneys filter metabolic wastes, excess ions, and chemicals from the blood to form urine.
  • The ureters are a pair of tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder. The ureters are about 10 to 12 inches long and run on the left and right sides of the body parallel to the vertebral column. Gravity and peristalsis of smooth muscle tissue in the walls of the ureters move urine toward the urinary bladder. The ends of the ureters extend slightly into the urinary bladder and are sealed at the point of entry to the bladder by the ureterovesical valves. These valves prevent urine from flowing back towards the kidneys.
  • The urinary bladder is a sac-like hollow organ used for the storage of urine. The urinary bladder is located along the body’s midline at the inferior end of the pelvis. Urine entering the urinary bladder from the ureters slowly fills the hollow space of the bladder and stretches its elastic walls. The walls of the bladder allow it to stretch to hold anywhere from 600 to 800 millilitres of urine.
  • The urethra is the tube through which urine passes from the bladder to the exterior of the body. The female urethra is around 2 inches long and ends inferior to the clitoris and superior to the vaginal opening. In males, the urethra is around 8 to 10 inches long and ends at the tip of the penis. The urethra is also an organ of the male reproductive system as it carries sperm out of the body through the penis.

 treatment of urinary incontinence