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Urinary Incontinence: Keeping a Daily Record - Topic Overview

Keep a daily diary of all liquids taken in and all urine released, whether voluntary or involuntary. Your health professional may also call this a voiding log, bladder record, frequency-volume chart, incontinence chart, or voiding diary. The diary is usually kept for 3 to 4 days.

Record in your diary:

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  • The time and amount of each urination.
  • The conditions under which urine release occurred, such as voluntary urination in the toilet, involuntary urine release, or leakage due to sneezing, laughing, or physical exertion.
  • The amounts and types of all liquids consumed. This includes frozen liquid items such as ice cream and frozen fruit juice bars.
  • Whether the liquid consumed contained caffeine (if your health professional instructs you to specify this information).

Why It Is Done

A diary is sometimes requested before you see a doctor about urinary incontinence.

You may be asked to keep a voiding log when:

  • You experience the involuntary release of urine.
  • No cause for the incontinence is discovered in the medical history and physical exam.
  • You are not sure of the frequency and amount of urine leakage.

Results

A diary may identify the cause of your incontinence.

  • If urine leakage occurs at the same time each day, several hours after taking a prescription drug, the drug may be having a diuretic effect.
  • If urine leakage occurs only during exercise or after sneezing, laughing, coughing, or similar actions, this points to stress incontinence.

See a sample diary(What is a PDF document?).

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 11, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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