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    Urinary Incontinence: Keeping a Daily Record

    Urinary Incontinence: Keeping a Daily Record

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    Topic Overview

    Keep a daily diary of all liquids taken in and all urine released, whether voluntary or involuntary. Your health professional may also call this a voiding log, bladder record, frequency-volume chart, incontinence chart, or voiding diary. The diary is usually kept for 3 to 4 days.

    Record in your diary:

    • The time and amount of each urination.
    • The conditions under which urine release occurred, such as voluntary urination in the toilet, involuntary urine release, or leakage due to sneezing, laughing, or physical exertion.
    • The amounts and types of all liquids consumed. This includes frozen liquid items such as ice cream and frozen fruit juice bars.
    • Whether the liquid consumed contained caffeine (if your health professional instructs you to specify this information).

    Why It Is Done

    A diary is sometimes requested before you see a doctor about urinary incontinence.

    You may be asked to keep a voiding log when:

    • You experience the involuntary release of urine.
    • No cause for the incontinence is discovered in the medical history and physical exam.
    • You are not sure of the frequency and amount of urine leakage.


    A diary may identify the cause of your incontinence.

    • If urine leakage occurs at the same time each day, several hours after taking a prescription drug, the drug may be having a diuretic effect.
    • If urine leakage occurs only during exercise or after sneezing, laughing, coughing, or similar actions, this points to stress incontinence.

    See a sample diary (What is a PDF document?) .


    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
    Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical Reviewer Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology

    Current as ofAugust 12, 2016

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