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Glossary
Below is a helpful and extensive glossary to familiarize yourself with some of the most commonly used terms.
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    Absorbent products: Pads and garments, disposable or reusable, worn to absorb leaked urine. Absorbent products include shields, undergarment pads, combination pad-pant systems, diaperlike garments, and bed pads.
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    Behavioral techniques: Different methods to help "retrain" the bladder and get rid of the urgency to urinate (see biofeedback, bladder training, electrical stimulation, habit training, pelvic muscle exercises, prompted voiding).

    Biofeedback: A technique in which a person learns to consciously control involuntary responses through electronically monitoring these functions.

    Bladder: A balloon-like muscular organ that stores and empties urine.

    Bladder diary: A helpful record of how often you pass urine, how much you pass each time, and how often you leak urine.

    Bladder training: Excercises that focus on changing urinary habits and patterns, often used in the treatment of urge incontinence.

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    Catheter: A soft tube that is inserted through the urethra into the bladder to drain urine.

    Catheterization: Insertion of a slender tube through the urethra or through the anterior abdominal wall into the bladder, urinary reservoir, or urinary conduit to allow urine drainage.

    Continence: The ability to hold urine.

    Cystoscopy: A procedure used by physicians to determine abnormalities in the bladder and lower urinary tract. A flexible scope is inserted into the urethra and then into the bladder. Images of the inside of the bladder are shown on a TV screen.

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    Detrusor Muscle: The outer muscle of the bladder or "bladder muscle" which is used to force urine from the bladder.
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    Extracorporeal: Situated or occurring from outside the body.
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    Infection: A condition resulting from the presence of bacteria or other germs.

    Innervation: The nerve stimulus sent to a body part.

    Intrinsic sphincter deficiency (ISD): Weakening of the urethra sphincter muscles. As a result of this weakening the sphincter does not function normally regardless of the position of the bladder neck or urethra, and is a common cause of stress urinary incontinence.

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    Kegel Exercises: Exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which leads to more control and prevents leakage (see pelvic muscle exercises).

    Kidneys: Two bean-shaped organs that remove waste from the blood as urine.

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    Magnetic field: A field of force produced by a magnet or electric current.

    Micturition: The medical term for urinating.

    Mixed incontinence: Usually the occurrence of stress and urge incontinence together.

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    Non-invasive: Not entering into or invading the body.
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    Overactive bladder: A condition characterized by involuntary bladder muscle contractions during the bladder filling phase, which may be spontaneous or provoked and which the patient cannot suppress.

    Overflow incontinence: Overflow incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine that occurs when the bladder overfills. Continuous or intermittent leakage of a small amount of urine results.

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    Pelvic floor muscles: The muscles running from the pubic bone in front to the tail bone in back. They provide support for the organs in the pelvis.

    Pelvic muscle exercises: Pelvic muscle exercises are a technique to improve your pelvic muscle tone and prevent leakage for sufferers of Stress Urinary Incontinence. Also called Kegel exercises (see biofeedback and vaginal weight traning).

    Periurethral bulking injections: A surgical procedure in which injectionable implants are used to "bulk up" the area around the neck of the bladder, allowing it to resist increases in abdominal pressure which can push down on the bladder and cause leakage.

    Pharmacologic treatment: The use of medications to treat a condition or disease.

    Post-void residual (PVR) volume: A diagnostic test which measures how much urine remains in the bladder after urination.

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    Sling procedures: Surgical methods for treating urinary incontinence involving the placement of a sling, made either of tissue obtained from the person undergoing the sling procedure or a synthetic material. The sling is anchored to retropubic and/or abdominal structures.

    Sphincters: Muscles that surround the urethra and normally prevent urine leakage.

    Stress urinary incontinence: (SUI) is the involuntary loss of urine during physical activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing and lifting.

    Stress Test: A diagnostic test that requires patients to lift something or perform an exercise to determines if there is urine loss when stress is placed on the bladder.

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    Transient urinary incontinence: Temporary episodes of urinary incontinence that are gone when the cause of the episode is identified and treated, such as a bladder infection.
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    Ultrasound: Special sound waves that can be used to provide images of an organ such as the bladder.

    Underactive bladder: A condition characterized by a bladder contraction of inadequate magnitude and/or duration to affect bladder emptying in a normal fashion.

    Ureters: Two thin tubes that carry urine downward from the kidneys to the bladder.

    Urethra: A thin tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.

    Urge incontinence: The involuntary loss of urine associated with an abrupt and strong desire to urinate.

    Urge/urgency: A strong desire to void.

    Urinalysis: Examination of a urine sample to check for signs of infection, blood or other abnormalities.

    Urinary tract (urinary system): The system that makes, stores, and releases urine.

    Urinary incontinence (UI): Involuntary loss of urine sufficient to be a problem. There are several types of Ul, but all are characterized by unwanted urinary leakage.

    Urine: Water and waste products collected as the kidneys filter blood.

    Urodynamic tests: Diagnostic tests to examine the bladder and urethral sphincter function, usually done by inserting a small tube into the urethra.

    Uroflowmetry: A urodynamic test that measures urine flow, either visually or with an electronic flowmeter unit.

    Urogynecologist: A doctor who specializes in problems of the lower urinary tract in women.

    Urologist: A doctor who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract in women and the urinary tract and reproductive system in men.

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    Vaginal: Relating to the vagina, the female sexual and reproductive opening.

    Void: urinate.

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