Who is on your team?
When it comes to treating light bladder leakage, there are several medical professionals who can help you out.
They include your GP, specialists such as urologists, gynaecologists and urogynaecologists, continence advisors and nurses as well as physio therapists specialising in pelvic floor muscles rehabilitation.
Who’s On Your Team?
Before you go to your doctor
To help your GP help you, it’s a good idea to keep a diary for one week of what you eat and drink, how often you go to the bathroom, and how often there’s leakage.
Here’s an easy way to talk to your GP about light bladder leakage
The more your doctor knows about you, the easier it will be for him or her to diagnose and treat you, or refer you to a specialist.
To make it easy to explain things to your doctor, print out this page, write out answers to the questions below, and take it to your appointment.
- When does your light bladder leakage occur?
- How long has it been a problem?
- How much of a problem is it?
- How many times a day do you have a bladder control problem?
- Are you aware of the need to urinate before you leak urine?
- Are you aware right away that you have leaked urine?
- Are you wet most of the day?
- Do you wear absorbent pads in case of accidents? Occasionally? All the time?
- Do you avoid social situations in case of accidents?
- Is it harder to control your urine when you cough, sneeze, strain, or laugh?
- Is it more difficult to control your urine when running, jumping or walking?
- Is the problem worse when sitting up or standing?
- Do you get constipated?
- Is there anything you do to reduce or prevent accidents?
- Have you ever been treated for this condition before?
- When? What was the treatment? Did it help?
Questions to ask your doctor
Now that you’ve described your problem, make sure your GP answers these questions:
- Can you help me? If not, can you refer me to a specialist?
- Could my usual food or drinks cause light bladder leakage?
- Might my prescription or over-the-counter medications contribute to the problem?
- Could other medical conditions cause loss of bladder control, including a past surgery or injury?
- Could my illness or disease be the cause, and will leakage stop with treatment?
- Is menopause contributing to the problem?
- Would losing weight help?
- What tests should I have, if any?
- Is it temporary or long-term?
- What kind of problem do you suspect I have?
- What are the treatments to regain bladder control?
- Which treatment is best for me?
- What are the treatment’s benefits and side effects?
- If you treat me with a medicine, will it interact with my other medicines?
- What can I do about urine odor and rash?
Which specialist does what?
A urologist treats diseases of both male and female urinary tracts, as well as the male reproductive system. A gynaecologist treats the female reproductive system, including the uterus, vagina, and ovaries. Both are good for the initial screening or for basic treatment for bladder weakness problems. They can also teach you how to do pelvic floor exercises, and can handle simple surgeries. These medical professionals usually develop and implement a treatment plan for bladder leaks based on symptoms, rather than the results of diagnostic tests.
A female urologist, on the other hand, is a doctor who specialises in the female urinary tract, and so has a lot of special knowledge. If you’ve not responded to first-line treatments prescribed by a non-specialist, you may be better served by a female urologist as they are experienced with many different medicines. Plus they have access to pelvic floor physical therapists, and they can perform more complicated surgical procedures.
Urogynaecologists also use more extensive diagnostic testing. The most commonly used diagnostics tests include a urodynamic profile, which involves filling the bladder with water and measuring how it behaves. This test might be used to work out how much urine your bladder can hold or if any urine is left behind after you’ve gone to the toilet.
Another test is a cystoscopy, which lets the doctor examine the inside of the urethra and bladder for infection, bleeding, or tumors.
A urogynaecologist may also refer you to a physical therapist to teach you how to do pelvic floor exercises, how to become more aware of the need to urinate, or how to control your bladder and muscles during urination.
It’s easy to manage light bladder leakage
Poise products help you manage light bladder leakage. We also have a number of other online articles you’ll learn a lot from, including light bladder leakage triggers and why is it so difficult to discuss?