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leaking bladder: what you need to know before your doctor visit

Even though most women understand the importance of seeking help for a leaking bladder, talking about bladder control problems is not easy for some people. You may feel embarrassed to tell your doctor, but talking about the problem is the first step in finding an answer. It may help you to understand what questions your doctor will ask, what test could be performed, and what information you need to bring.

First you will need to find a doctor who is skilled in helping women with urine leakage. If your primary doctor shrugs off your leaking bladder problem as normal aging, ask for a referral to a specialist. Specialist can include a uro-gynecologist or a urologist who specializes in treating female urinary problems.

You can prepare for your visit to the doctor’s office by gathering the information your doctor will need to diagnose your problem. Bring a list of the medicines you are taking and a list the fluids you drink and how much of each drink you have in an average day. Also make a note of any recent surgeries or illnesses you have had. Let the doctor know how many children you have had. Finally, keep track of the times when you have urine leakage. Note what you were doing at the time. Were you coughing, laughing, sneezing, or exercising?

The doctor will give you a physical exam to look for any health issues that may be causing your leaking bladder. The doctor will check your reflexes to determine possible nerve damage and ask for a urine sample to check for infection. You may also get a pelvic exam and ultrasound of your bladder. The doctor may also examine the inside of your bladder using a cystoscope, a long, thin tube that slides up into the bladder through the urethra.

Your exam may include one or more tests that involve filling the bladder with warm fluid to measure the pressure at which bladder leakage may occur. The medical test may seem uncomfortable or embarrassing, but rest assured that the health professionals who perform the tests will try to make you feel comfortable and give you as much privacy as possible.

For more information about dealing with a leaking bladder, download the FREE Vibrant Nation Special Report, 5 keys to manage a leaking bladder or overactive bladder for women over 50.


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