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Urinary Incontinence: Get Ready to See Your Doctor

October 25, 2012 2 min read

Before you schedule an appointment to talk to your doctor about the bladder leakage you’ve been experiencing recently, you need to be prepared. Use these tips to help you and your doctor better understand your urinary incontinence issues:

 Recall your incontinence history.

Try to remember the first time you experienced incontinence, and how it has changed since then. Incontinence can have different causes depending on the length and severity of symptoms. Also note if there were any changes that could have caused the incontinence to begin (pregnancy/childbirth, surgery, new exercises, change in diet/medication, etc.).

Maintain a voiding diary for at least three days.

Your diary should include:

  • when, how much, and what kinds of fluids you drink and food you eat
  • how often and how much you void
  • any sudden urges and whether or not you feel as if you’ve completely emptied your bladder
  • the amount of leakage experienced and under what conditions (coughing, sneezing, during the night)

Prepare a list of questions to ask your doctor.

Appointments can be brief so make sure to ask the most important questions first. Questions may include underlying medical conditions, strengthening exercises you can perform, or any medication that could help.

Make a list of any medications or vitamin supplements you take.

Side effects from medications can irritate the urinary tract. Remember to note all doses and how often the medication is taken. If you can’t list all of your medications, just bring them with you to your appointment.

Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing.

Urinary leaking is a symptom, in itself, that can be caused by an underlying condition. If you feel any different, write it down even if you don’t think it’s the cause. Symptoms can include pain during urination, sudden urges to go, frequent urination, or skin irritation.

Note how incontinence affects your daily life.

How does it make you feel? Are you scared to go to work? Did you have to give up running? Your doctor can help you with these problems by suggesting incontinence products such as adult diapers or incontinence pads.

Remember, it is important to seek medical help and be thoroughly prepared for your appointment so that you can receive the best and most effective treatment for your incontinence needs.


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