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Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

Mixed Incontinence

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Diagnosis of Mixed Incontinence continued...

Your diary entries along with answers to your doctor's questions will help make the diagnosis. These questions may include:

  • How often do you go to the bathroom?
  • When you get to the bathroom, do you have trouble starting or stopping the flow of urine?
  • Do you leak urine constantly or only during certain activities?
  • Do you leak urine before you get to the bathroom?
  • Do you experience pain or burning when you urinate?
  • Do you get frequent urinary tract infections?
  • Have you had a back injury?
  • Do you have a medical condition such as Parkinson's or multiple sclerosis that could interfere with bladder function?

Your doctor may also perform a physical examination and look for signs of damage to the nerves that supply the bladder and rectum. Depending on the findings of the examination your doctor may refer you to a neurologist (a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the nervous system) or perform tests.

These may include:

  • Bladder stress test . Your doctor checks to see if you lose urine when coughing. This could indicate stress incontinence.
  • Catheterization. After having you empty your bladder, the doctor inserts a catheter to see if more urine comes out, meaning you are unable to empty your bladder completely.
  • Urinalysis and urine culture. Lab technicians check your urine for infection, other abnormalities, or evidence of kidney stones.
  • Ultrasound. An imaging test is performed to visualize inner organs such as the bladder, kidneys, and ureters.

If the diagnosis is still not clear, your doctor may order urodynamic testing. This can help provide information on bladder contractions, bladder pressure, urine flow, nerve signals, and leakage.

Another test used to confirm a diagnosis is cystoscopy, which examines the inside of the bladder and urethra with a small scope called a cytoscope.

Treatment for Mixed Incontinence

Treatment for mixed incontinence will require a combination of approaches used to relieve both stress incontinence and urge incontinence. There is no single treatment that works for everyone. The treatments you and your doctor choose will depend on the severity of your incontinence as well as your lifestyle and preferences.

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