Null and Void?
"Diagnosing urinary incontinence in men"
Clinicians must first determine what is causing the urinary incontinence in men in order to prescribe what treatment option is best. Aside from physically examining the patient and thoroughly reviewing his medical history for illnesses or surgeries he may have had, a doctor may order the following:
● Voiding diary. To help give a doctor a clearer picture of the extent of the problem, he may ask a patient to keep track of changes in urination frequency, including accidental episodes, by keeping a record.
● Prostate exam. A digital rectal exam; that is, the insertion of the physician’s gloved finger into the rectum, is one of the simplest tests to determine the prostate’s size and condition.
● Nerve exam. Another simple test to determine if there is any damage to the nerves is a nerve exam. In particular, a doctor will ask if one feels tingling sensations, numbness, and changes in sensation, muscle tone, and reflexes.
● Machine tests. An electroencephalogram (EEG) can test for brain dysfunctions, an electromyogram (EMG) can measure nerve activity in muscles that are related to the bladder, while an ultrasound can generate images of the kidneys, bladder, and prostate. Such tests may be necessary to determine what is causing the incontinence.
● Urodynamic test. This test measures the urinary bladder’s capacity for urine and its ability to void completely and steadily. It can also measure if the bladder has abnormal contractions that are causing it to leak. The test is done by measuring the pressure in a filled bladder using a catheter. When used with EMG, it can detect abnormal nerve signals and involuntary bladder contractions.