Key Questions in Evaluating Patients for Urinary Incontinence

Do you leak urine when you cough, laugh, lift something or sneeze? How often?

Do you ever leak urine when you have a strong urge on the way to the bathroom? How often?

How frequently do you empty your bladder during the day? How many times do you get up to urinate after going to sleep? Is it the urge to urinate that wakes you? Do you ever leak urine during sex?

Do you wear pads that protect you from leaking urine? How often do you have to change them?

Do you ever find urine on your pads or clothes and were unaware of when the leakage occurred?

Does it hurt when you urinate?

Do you ever feel that you are unable to completely empty your bladder?

Drugs That Can Influence Bladder Function


Side effect

Antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedatives/hypnotics

Sedation, retention (overflow)


Frequency, urgency (OAB)


Frequency, urgency (OAB)


Retention (overflow)


Sedation, frequency (OAB)


Retention, constipation, sedation (OAB and overflow)

Alpha-adrenergic blockers

Decreased urethral tone (stress incontinence)

Alpha-adrenergic agonists

Increased urethral tone, retention (overflow)

Beta-adrenergic agonists

Inhibited detrusor function, retention (overflow)

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