Talking to Your Doctor About Urinary Incontinence
You have your own medical history. It is vital to share any risk factors with the doctor. It is also key to describe what you have gone through with urinary incontinence. Take an active role in your care by talking openly and regularly with the doctor.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier to talk to the doctor:
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you do not forget them.
- Write down the answers you get. Make sure you understand what you are hearing. If you don't, tell the doctor. Ask for educational materials.
- Ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask
About the Risk of Developing Urinary Incontinence
- Based on my health history, am I at risk of developing urinary incontinence?
- Should I start Kegel exercises or estrogen cream now to help keep it from happening?
- Do any of my medicines make the risk higher?
- Are there other things I can do to lower my risk?
About the Cause of Urinary Incontinence
- What could have caused my incontinence?
- Is there more than one cause?
About the Risk of Having Complications from Urinary Incontinence
- What can I use on my skin to keep urine from hurting it?
- Are there other problems that I should be aware of?
About Treatment Options
- How is urinary incontinence normally treated?
- Are there any newer treatments that may work better for me?
- Do you think I should join a clinical trial?
- Is there a clinical trial that will work for me?
About Lifestyle Changes
- Are there any medicines that will help me have to use the bathroom less often?
- Will medicines like these be safe for me to use?
- How often should I do Kegel exercises?
- What about regular physical exercise? What type of exercise is safest for me?
- Can I be cured?
- If I am cured, could the problem return?
- Will my treatment have any lasting negative effects?
- Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.
- Urinary incontinence in men. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/urinary-incontinence-in-men-25.
- Urinary incontinence in women. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/condition/urinary-incontinence-in-women.
- Nicole S. Meregian, PA
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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