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Urinary Incontinence

Anaesthesia (general, spinal, or local)

Before a procedure you will get medication to make sure that you don’t feel pain. Under general anaesthesia you are unconscious and unaware of what is happening to you. Under spinal or local anaesthesia you will not feel pain in the part of your body where the procedure is done. Anaesthesia wears off gradually after the procedure.

Benign Prostatic Enlargement (BPE)

An enlargement of the prostate related to hormonal changes with age.

Bladder

Organ which collects urine from the kidneys.

Bladder neck

The group of muscles that connect the bladder to the urethra. These muscles contract to keep the urine in the bladder, and relax to let the urine pass to the urethra.

Bladder wall

The different layers of tissue that shape the bladder.

Catheter

A hollow flexible tube to insert or drain fluids from the body. In urology, catheters are generally used to drain urine from the bladder.

Contraindications

Any symptoms or conditions that make a certain treatment option undesirable.

CT scan

CT stands for Computed Tomography. It is an imaging technique that makes a series of x-ray images of the body.

Cystoscope

A type of endoscope which is used in the urethra (see also Endoscope, Urethra).

Cystoscopy

It is a procedure in which the doctor looks inside your body with a cystoscope inserted through the urethra

Detrusor

A smooth muscle found in the bladder wall. The detrusor muscle remains relaxed to allow the bladder to store the urine, and contracts during urination to release the urine.

Diagnosis

The doctor and nurses do a series of tests to understand what causes your symptoms.

Endoscope

A tube-like instrument to examine the inside of the body. Can be flexible or rigid.

Fatigue

This means you feel more tired than usual, you are out of energy, and it doesn’t get better after you sleep. You may also experience pain in your joints, muscles, and chest.

First-line treatment

The first treatment given for a disease. It is often part of a standard set of treatment options.

Gynecological

Having to do with the health of the female reproductive system, including the vagina, uterus and ovaries, and the breasts.

Imaging

Taking images of the body with ultrasound, x-ray or other scanning techniques.

Indwelling catheter

A tube placed in the urethra and bladder to help you urinate.

Intermittent catheter

A tube placed in the urethra and bladder to help you urinate. An intermittent catheter is manually placed and removed several times a day, to empty the bladder fully.

Invasive

Any procedure in which the doctor inserts instruments into the body, or parts of the body.

Laparoscopic surgery

A minimally-invasive surgical technique in which the surgeon does not need to cut through skin and tissue. Instead, the surgeon inserts the surgical instruments through small incisions in your abdomen.

Ligament

A short band of tough, flexible fibrous tissue which connects two bones or cartilages or holds together a joint.

Minimally-invasive surgery

A surgical procedure where there is no need to cut through skin and tissue. Small incisions are made in the abdomen to insert the surgical instruments.

Mixed urinary incontinence

Having symptoms of both stress urinary incontinence and urgency urinary incontinence.

MRI scan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a technique in which strong magnetic fields and radio waves are used to make images of the body.

Neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction

A complication in the lower urinary tract caused by problems in the nervous system that influences its activity.

Nocturia

Waking up one or more times during the night because of the need to urinate.

Oestrogen

The main female sex hormones which control female characteristics of the body and are important to the reproductive and menstrual cycle.

Open surgery

A surgical procedure in which the surgeon cuts skin and tissues to have direct access to the structures or organs.

Overactive Bladder Symptoms

A collection of urinary storage symptoms, including urgency, incontinence, frequency and nocturia.

Pad test

During the pad test your doctor asks you to wear an absorbent pad. Usually the test lasts between 1 and 24 hours. You have to weigh the amount of urine absorbed by the pad.

Pelvic floor muscles

Muscles that support the pelvic organs, including the bladder and rectum.

Perineum

The area between the anus and the scrotum or vulva.

Pessary

A small soluble block that is inserted into the vagina to treat infection or as a contraceptive. It can also be an elastic or rigid device that is inserted into the vagina to support the uterus.

Post void residual urine (PVR)

The amount of urine left in the bladder after urination.

Prostate

The gland which produces the fluid which carries semen. It is located in the male lower urinary tract, under the bladder and around the urethra.

Prostatectomy

A surgical procedure in which part of or the entire prostate is removed.

Rectum

The final section of the large intestine, ending at the anus.

Retropubic

Behind the pelvic bone.

Scrotum

A pouch of skin containing the testicles.

Second-line treatment

Treatment that is given when initial treatment does not work, or stops working.

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI)

When your urethra or urinary sphincter cannot resist the pressure of a full bladder. As a result, you lose urine when the pressure on your lower urinary tract suddenly increases. This can happen during activities like coughing, sneezing, or laughing, exercise like running or jumping, or carrying heavy things like groceries.

Titanium port

The non-metallic part of an Artificial Urinary Sphincter (AUS) that serves to adjust the pressure of the device.

Transobturator

Through the natural space in the hip bone.

Ultrasonography

Imaging technique that uses high-frequency sounds to make an image of the inside of the body (ultrasound).

Urethra

The tube which carries urine from the bladder and out of the body.

Urgency

The sudden need to urinate which is difficult to postpone.

Urgency urinary incontinence

Urgency urinary incontinence (UUI) happens when you get a sudden need to urinate which you cannot postpone. The bladder muscle contracts and you urinate when you do not want to.

Urinary frequency

The need to urinate more often than usual, generally more than 8 times a day.

Urinary incontinence

Involuntary loss of urine.

Urinary sphincter

The muscles used to control the exit of urine in the bladder, through the urethra. When either one of the muscles contracts, the urethra is sealed shut.

Urinary tract

The organ system which produces and transports urine through and out of the body. It includes two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder and the urethra. The urinary tract is similar in men and women, only men have a longer urethra.

Urination cycle

The urination cycle has two phases. One is when the bladder fills up, and it is followed by the urination phase, where the bladder empties.

Urine leakage

The accidental escape of urine from the bladder.

Uroflowmeter

A special funnel that is used during a uroflowmetry test. The funnel is connected to a measuring instrument that calculates the amount of urine, rate of flow in seconds, and length of time until you finish urinating.

Urologist

A doctor specialized in health and diseases of the urinary tract and the genitals.

Vagina

The muscular tube leading from the external genitals to the cervix of the uterus in women.

Vulva

The female external genitals.

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