Diagnosing Stress Urinary Incontinence

If you are experencing the symptoms of stress urinary incontinence, talking to a specialist who understands what you’re going through is the first step toward finding the best solution to your problem.

Comprehensive Diagnosis for SUI

As a first step to diagnosing your bladder control problem, your physician will perform a comprehensive medical history and evaluation to accurately diagnose the condition in order to prescribe the best treatment option for you.  Your doctor may also order additional tests including:

  • Urinalysis
  • Blood work
  • A bladder diary – your physician may ask you to keep a record of what you drink, your urine output, when leakage occurs and what you were doing (coughing, laughing, exercising, etc.) when urine leakage occurred.

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

  • Pelvic ultrasound – This test painlessly checks for abnormalities in the bladder, urinary tract or genitals
  • Stress test – Looks for leaking urine when you cough, laugh or put other types of pressure on your bladder
  • Postvoid 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 blockage or nerve or muscle problem.
  • Cystoscopy – A tiny instrument called a cytoscope is inserted into the urethra to find and/or remove abnormalities. This procedure can be performed in your doctor’s ambulatory surgical center.
  • Cystogram – A special X-ray of your bladder taken while filling and evacuating
  • Urodynamic tests – Diagnostic tests that evaluate the function of the bladder and urethra and include Uroflow, cystometrogram, EMG, pressure flow study, or videourodynamics

 Learn more about treatments for SUI here.