Glossary: A-I

5-alpha reductase inhibitors - a group of medications which are used primarily in the treatment of an enlarged prostate gland.

Abscess - a collection of pus that has built up within tissues of the body.

Acupuncture - a form of Chinese complementary medicine in which the skin or tissue is pricked with needles to relieve pain or treat various physical, mental or emotional conditions.

Alpha-1 adrenergic antagonists - a group of medications used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure and enlarged prostate.

Alpha blocker - medication used to relax muscles or blood vessels.

Ambulatory setting - refers to the outpatient "walk in" setting.

Androgen - a male sex hormone (e.g. testosterone).

Anti-diuretic - a substance that helps to control the balance of fluid in the body by increasing blood pressure and decreasing urine output. Its effects are opposite to a diuretic. 

Antimicrobials - a substance that kills or stops the growth of tiny, potentially harmful organisms that can only be seen under a microscope.

Anti-muscarinic - a group of medications used to treat overactive bladder.

Bacteruria - the presence of bacteria in the urine.

Beta-3 agonist - a group of medicines used to treat overactive bladder.

Bladder augmentation - surgery performed to make the bladder larger.

Bladder diary - a record that documents fluid intake, frequency of urinary, degree of urgency and number of episodes in urinary incontinence.

Bladder outlet obstruction - a blockage at the base of the bladder which reduces or stops the flow of urine to the urethra and out of the body.

Botulism A toxin - more commonly known as Botox. It is sometimes used as a form of treatment for incontinence.

Cardiac - of or relating to the heart.

Cardiovascular - relating to the heart and blood vessels.

Co-morbidities - the existence of two or more medical conditions at the same time.

Coronary - relating to the blood vessels of the heart.

CPAP - Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. A form of treatment for sleep apnoea that utilises a machine to stimulate normal breathing while sleeping.

Cystitis - inflammation of the bladder wall, usually caused by a bladder infection.

Cystocele - the bulging of the bladder into the vagina as a result of weak supportive tissues.

Dementia - a group of conditions of which the main symptom is a global decline in brain function.

Detrusor - the smooth, outer, muscular structure of the bladder wall.

Detrusor hyperreflexia  - involuntary bladder muscle (detrusor) contractions which are due to neurologic conditions.

Detrusor instability - involuntary bladder muscle (detrusor) contractions which are due to reasons other than neurologic disorders. The diagnosis must be made using urodynamics.

Detrusor overactivity - a generic term for involuntary bladder muscle (detrusor) contractions. This term is used when a cause is unclear.

Diuresis - an increase in passing urine.

Diuretics - medications used to remove excess water and salt from the body through urine.

Diurnal - daily.

Dysuria - difficult or painful urination.

Encopresis - repeated passage of faeces into inappropriate places (e.g. clothing or floor) whether involuntary or intentional.

Enuresis - a 'normal' void taking place at an inappropriate or socially unacceptable time or place.

Extraurethral incontinence - leakage of urine from a source other than the urethra. It may be due to urinary fistula or ectopic ureter.

Faecal incontinence - the involuntary passing of faeces.

Flank - the fleshy part of the body that sits between the ribs and the hip bone.

Fluid overload - also known as hypervolaemia. It is the condition of having too much fluid in the body.

Fluid tablets - see "diuretics".

Global polyuria - a continuously raised urine output, defines as more than 40 ml/kg over 24 hours.

Glomerular filtration rate - a test of how well the kidneys are working. It estimates how much blood passes through the glomeruli (the small blood vessels inside the kidneys) each minute.

Glomerulus - a network of capillaries (small blood vessels) located within the kidneys.

Glucose - a simple sugar that is a source of energy for living beings.

Glycaemic - the presence of glucose (a simple sugar) within the blood.

Haematuria - the presence of blood in the urine.

Haemorrhage - excessive bleeding, usually from a ruptured blood vessel.

Homeopathy - a complementary or alternative medicine. 

Hypnotics - a group of drugs used to cause sleep.

Hypertension - high blood pressure.

Incontinence - involuntary leakage of urine.

In situ - in place.

Insomnia - the inability to fall asleep.

Intrinsic sphincter deficiency - a malfunction of the urethral sphincter itself.