Women’s Health Care Resources

Incontinence Services

Incontinence Diagnosis

There are numerous causes of urinary incontinence including urinary tract infections (UTIs), constipation, pelvic floor disorders, neurological or anatomical problems and certain medications.

The evaluation of urinary incontinence begins with a thorough medical history as well as a complete physical exam. We also rely on several other tools to better diagnose incontinence and develop an effective treatment plan.

Bladder Diary

A bladder diary can be helpful in establishing the diagnosis of urinary incontinence as well as possible causes. In a bladder diary, you should record how much you drink, when you urinate, the amount of urine you produce, whether you had an urge to urinate and the number of incontinent episodes.


A sample of your urine may be collected and sent to the lab where it will be checked for signs of infection, traces of blood or other abnormalities.


Urodynamic testing can determine the function and efficiency of the bladder and urethra. This test is used to evaluate urinary incontinence, frequent urination, incomplete emptying of the bladder or recurrent infections. The results of these tests can objectively confirm the symptoms you are having. We perform urodynamic testing in the hospital. Instruction, prepping, and performance of the test itself usually takes no more than 30 minutes of your time.

You will be asked to arrive with a comfortably full bladder and then will be asked to void into a container during which the rate and volume of urine is closely measured. A brief scan may be done to evaluate the amount of urine remaining in the bladder. A thin flexible tube or catheter is then inserted into the urethra. The bladder is then filled with water via the catheter until you get the urge to urinate. This volume is measured and more water may be added until involuntary urination occurs. There may be other various measurements taken throughout the test. You may experience some burning upon urinating after the test is completed. Interpretation of the urodynamic testing is available immediately and your doctor will discuss this with you.


Cystoscopy is a procedure used to see inside your bladder and urethra — the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside of your body. During a cystoscopy procedure, your doctor uses a hollow tube (cystoscope) with a lens to carefully examine the lining of your bladder and your urethra. The cystoscope is inserted into your urethra and slowly advanced into your bladder. Cystoscopy is done to evaluate various disorders of the bladder and urinary tract.


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