A urologist will perform a detailed history and physical exam, so it is helpful if the patient keeps a bladder diary for a few days beforehand to record times of urination, the amount of urine, leakage, and foods and beverages consumed. The physician may also perform one or more tests:
- Stress test: The patient relaxes and then coughs hard as the physician watches for urine loss.
- Postvoid residual volume: A measure of the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination.
- Urinalysis: An examination of the composition of the patient’s urine.
- Bladder scan: An ultrasound of the kidneys, bladder, and urethra, to see if the bladder empties completely.
- Cystoscopy: A thin tube with a tiny camera is inserted into the urethra to view any abnormalities in the urethra or bladder.
- Urodynamics: A technique that measures the pressure in the bladder and urine flow.
It is helpful if the patient keeps a diary for a few days beforehand to record times of urination, the amount of urine, the leakage, and the foods and beverages consumed.