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 of several tests:
- Stress test: The patient relaxes and then coughs hard as the physician watches for urine loss.
- Postvoid residual volume: Measures the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination.
- Urinalysis: Examines the composition of the patient’s urine.
- Bladder scan: An ultrasound examines the kidneys, bladder, and urethra to see if the bladder empties completely.
- Cystoscopy: A slender tube with a tiny camera inserted into the urethra uncovers any abnormalities in the urethra or the bladder.
- Urodynamics: Measures pressure in the bladder and urine flow.