Gynecologic Health

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about prevention and wellness for women.

How do I know if I have urinary incontinence issues, and when should I seek help?

Premier Health’s Dr. Jerome Yaklic talks about symptoms of urinary incontinence and when to seek treatment. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.


The symptoms of urinary incontinence (UI) vary depending on the type of UI you have. According to The Office on Women’s Health, you may experience:

  • Urine leaks during activity and/or when pressure is exerted on the bladder, such as when you cough or sneeze (stress urinary incontinence or SUI)
  • Sudden intense urges to empty your bladder, which you may or may not be able to restrain until you reach the bathroom (urge incontinence, also known as overactive bladder or OAB)
  • Frequent or constant dribbling of urine (overflow incontinence)

Your doctor may diagnose urinary incontinence based on your medical history and symptoms alone. However, there are additional diagnostic tests and procedures, such as:

  • Bladder stress test—stress is put on the bladder by bearing down or coughing so that the doctor can observe any urine leakage
  • Urinalysis—urine is tested to see if infection may be causing incontinence
  • Ultrasound—sound waves create an image of the kidneys, bladder and urethra so that the doctor may see any structural abnormalities or blockages
  • Cystoscopy—a catheter with a camera is inserted up the urethra and into the bladder, allowing the doctor to see inside
  • Urodynamics—a water-filled tube is inserted into the bladder to test for pressure inside the bladder

These tests can determine the cause of urinary incontinence and point to the most effective treatment.

Urinary incontinence is not a life-threatening condition, but it can cause lifestyle changes. Some people feel they cannot go places if they will be too far from a bathroom and/or away too long. Some people give up activities. If urinary incontinence gets in the way of your normal, active life, that is when you should seek help from your doctor.

To learn more about diagnosis and treatment options for urinary incontinence, talk to your doctor.

Learn more:

Source: Rashmi Bolinjkar, MD, Upper Valley Womens Center; Jeremy Crouch, MD, Womens Health Specialists and Midwives of Dayton; Heather Hilkowitz, MD, Hilltop Obstetrics and Gynecology; Amanda Fox, CNP, Dulan and Moore Dulan Family Wellness Center; Kathryn Lorenz, MD, Hyatt Family Care; William Rush, MD, Lifestages Samaritan Centers for Women; Jerome Yaklic, MD, Wright State Physicians Obstetrics and Gynecology; Mansi Amin, DO, SureCare Medical Center; Amy Renshaw, MD, Center for Womens Health and Wellness; J. Scott Bembry, Premier OB/GYN; L. William Rettig, III, MD,Lifestages Centers for Women; Elyse Weber, PA, Lifestages Centers for Women; Rhonda Washington, MD, Center for Womens Health and Wellness; Stacy Hudepohl, CNM, Center for Womens Health and Wellness; Larry Holland, DO, Premier Womens Center

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