Take 5: Investigating incontinence

2 minute read

The first step to assessing incontinence is a urine output chart

The first step to assessing patients with incontinence is to ask them to measure their output of urine, says Dr Ian Tucker, a gynaecologist and urogynaecologist based in Adelaide.

Over a 24-hour period, patients should record each time they go to the toilet and how much they pass.

If they wear pads, they should put the pads in a bag at the end of use and weight the bag after 24 hours.

“Then, when you see the patient back in two weeks time, you can go further with the questioning,” says Dr Tucker.

At this point, GPs can think about sending the microurine off for culture and sensitivity and, if the patient is over 50, cytology.

“Then there is the question of whether [the patient] warrants organ imaging, basically to give [the GP] a picture of what the nature of the incontinence is before starting some conservative treatment.”

Potential causes of incontinence include diabetes or other comorbidities such a joint pain, which can make it difficult to get to the toilet.

[media_embed] https://player.vimeo.com/video/191420620 [/media_embed]

In this video, Dr Tucker addresses:

– Should GPs assess women with urinary incontinence in the surgery?

– What investigations should GPs consider in the work-up of incontinence?

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