How to Assess if your Patient has a Urinary Problem

On numerous occasions, you may encounter some patients who come for a consultation and have some type of urinary problem. Determining its origin, the causes and treatment is key to improve their quality of life and well-being.

In general, experts follow this protocol to know the type of incontinence that your patient has:

Voiding Diary: is a record of voiding activity, which organises a visual and complete daily activity of your patient. It will help you to understand your patient’s voiding routine and this way will be able to know in a more precise way if there’s a problem related to the control of the bladder.

Clinical History: antecedents, diseases and possible problems related to incontinence (such as medication or nutrition) are reviewed.

Analysis of urine: this can be ruled out that your patient suffers from UI due to an infection or a secondary problem.

Physical Examination: there may be certain anomalies derived, for example, from surgeries or cutaneous lesions that favor the appearance of urinary incontinence.

Symptom Questionnaire: by asking a few questions you can assess the symptoms and know the type of UI that your patient has, such as:
- Do you suffer from urine loss when you play sports, carry weight or cough? If yes, it could be stress incontinence.
- When you feel like urinating, do you have to run to the bathroom? Does the cold or the sound of running water intensify your urge to urinate? Do you have problems to endure? If yes, you probably have an unstable bladder.
- Do you have trouble urinating? Do you sometimes have the feeling that your bladder has not completely emptied? If yes, it could be a urinary retention.

The most appropriate way to treat urinary incontinence is to conduct a complete study of the patient to be able to assess all their history, symptoms and possible causes, and recommend an appropriate treatment to the type of incontinence suffered.

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