In most patients, a diagnosis can be reached from history, examination, urinalysis and culture, a bladder diary and (in some cases) measurement of postvoid residual urine volume.
- Urinary incontinence affects between 25 and 45% of women at some time in their lives.
- GPs are ideally placed to initiate management.
- Reversible causes should be sought, particularly medications such as diuretics and antihypertensive drugs (including prazosin).
- History, examination, urinalysis, urine culture, a bladder diary and (in selected cases) measurement of postvoid residual urine volume are sufficient for a diagnosis in most cases.
- Pelvic floor exercises and bladder training can be effective treatments.
- Specialist referral should be considered for patients who do not respond to these measures.