Diagnosing OAB

Diagnosing OAB


Women StockSome women may feel embarrassed talking to a physician about bladder control problems but, rest assured, our continence specialists are highly skilled at helping women with urinary incontinence problems and will put you at ease.


Talking with a specialist who understands what you’re going through is the first step to finding the best solution for your OAB. Your physician will perform a comprehensive medical history and evaluation to accurately diagnose your OAB symptoms in order to prescribe the best treatment option for you. He or she may also order additional tests including:

  • Urinalysis
  • Blood work
  • A bladder diary – Your physician may ask you to keep a daily record of how often you make trips to the bathroom, what you drink, your urine output, and when any leakage occurs to gain a better understanding of your symptoms

Specialized tests may also be performed to get a clear idea of the cause of your OAB symptoms, including:

  • Pelvic ultrasound: This test painlessly checks for abnormalities in the bladder, urinary tract or genitals.

  • Post void residual test (PVR): Determines how well you empty your bladder by measuring residual urine after voiding using a thin tube (catheter) passed through your urethra into the bladder. By measuring residual urine, your doctor can determine if there may be a nerve or muscle problem.

  • Cystoscopy: A tiny instrument called a cystoscope is inserted into the urethra to find and/or remove abnormalities. This procedure can be performed in your doctor’s office or in an ambulatory surgical center.
    Patients scheduled for a cystoscopy can learn more in our patient brochure HERE. 

  • Urodynamics: A series of diagnostic tests that evaluate the function of your bladder and urethra. These tests may be recommended if you have urinary incontinence (leakage of urine), neurogenic bladder, recurrent bladder infections, slow or weak urinary stream, incomplete bladder emptying or frequent urination.
    Learn more about Urodynamics here. 

Learn about treatment options for overactive bladder here.

FAQs about OAB