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 Medical Self-Care: Urinary Incontinence in Adults: Acute and Chronic Management 

Bladder Health Council
c/o American Foundation for Urologic Disease
300 West Pratt Street, Suite 401
Baltimore, MD 21201
(800) 242-2383
(410) 727-2908

National Association for Continence
(formerly Help for Incontinent People)
P.O. Box 8310
Spartanburg, SC 29305
(864) 579-7900
(800) BLADDER or (800) 252-3337

International Continence Society
The Continence Foundation
2 Doughty Street
London WC1N 2PH

Simon Foundation for Continence
Box 835
Wilmette, IL 60091
(800) 23-SIMON
(708) 864-3913

For Further Information
The information in this booklet was taken from the Clinical Practice Guideline Update on Urinary Incontinence in Adults: Acute and Chronic Management. The guideline was developed by an expert panel of doctors, nurses, other health care providers, and consumers sponsored by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. Other guidelines on common health problems are being developed and will be released in the near future. For more information about the guidelines or to receive additional copies of this booklet, contact: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Publications Clearinghouse, Post Office Box 8547, Silver Spring, MD 20907. (800) 358-9295

Common Tests Used to Diagnose Urinary Incontinence

Name of Test Purpose
Blood tests Examines blood for levels of various chemicals
Cystoscopy Looks for abnormalities in bladder and lower urinary tract. It works by inserting a small tube into the bladder[a] that has a telescope for the doctor to look through.
Postvoid residual (PVR) measurement Measures how much urine is left in the bladder after urinating by placing a small soft tube into the bladder or by using ultrasound (sound waves).
Stress test Looks for urine loss when stress is put on bladder muscles usually by coughing, lifting, or exercise.
Urinalysis Examines urine for signs of infection, blood, or other abnormality.
Urodynamic testing Examines bladder and urethral sphincter function (may involve inserting a small tube into the bladder; x-rays also can be used to see the bladder).
[a] Because you may be uncomfortable during this part of the test, you may be given some medication to help relax you.

Sample Bladder Record

NAME: ____________________________________________
DATE: ____________________________________________
INSTRUCTIONS: Place a check in the appropriate column next to the time you urinated in the toilet or when an incontinence episode occurred. Note the reason for the incontinence and describe your liquid intake (for example, coffee, water) and estimate the amount (for example, one cup).
Time interval Urinated in toilet Had a small incontinence episode Had a large incontinence episode Reason for incontinence episode Type/amount of liquid intake
6-8 a.m. __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________
8-10 a.m. __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________
10-noon __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________
Noon-2 p.m. __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________
2-4 p.m. __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________
4-6 p.m. __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________
6-8 p.m. __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________
8-10 p.m. __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________
10-midnight __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________
Overnight __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________
No. of pads used today: No. of episodes:
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