Urodynamics is a series of tests that help better evaluate problems you may have with holding or emptying urine. Reasons for doing this testing include:
- Urinary incontinence or uncontrollable loss of urine
- Incomplete emptying of your bladder
- Symptoms such as uncomfortable frequency of urination or a constant, urgent need to urinate
- Intermittent or weak urine stream
- Recurrent urinary tract (bladder) infections.
To fully evaluate your bladder function, you will be asked to
- Complete a Bladder Function Questionnaire that asks detailed questions about your bladder and bowel function.
- Fill out a Voiding Diary in which you will record every time you urinate and the amount you urinate for 24 hours. You should also record what you are drinking and the amounts. Your physician will usually provide a container that makes this part easier to complete.
- Drink at least 32 ounces (1 quart) of liquid just before the time of your appointment for the urodynamics. Do not empty your bladder.
Urodynamics Testing – Several different tests can be done depending on your particular symptoms and physical exam. These include:
- Uroflowmetry – This test measures the amount and rate of urine flow – this is used to screen for bladder emptying problems. You will be asked to urinate into a special container placed under a commode.
- Cystometry – This test checks how much your bladder can hold, how well the bladder muscle functions, and how well the nerves going to the bladder work. A very small catheter will be inserted into the bladder through the urethra. Most patients experience little, if any, discomfort with this procedure. Your bladder will be filled with sterile water. A second catheter may be placed in the vagina to provide additional information. You will be asked when you feel the first sensation of needing to go to the bathroom, when you feel like you would look for a bathroom, and finally when you feel like you would pull over to the side of the road if you were driving a car. You will also be asked to bear down and cough.
- Urethral Pressure Profile – This test measures the pressure in your urethra as it leaves the bladder and is useful in finding the cause of the incontinence. The catheter is slowly withdrawn from the bladder, and special equipment measures the different pressures.
- Pressure Flow Study – This is a measurement of the flow and pressures in the bladder and is done with the catheters in place while you are urinating. This study is important to evaluate problems with emptying your bladder.
Treatment of Bladder Problems depends on the specific problem(s) that is (are) identified. Treatment options include lifestyle change, medication, biofeedback, surgery, or a combination of these. See Urinary Incontinence.
The information provided by Advanced Healthcare for Women and E. Daniel Biggerstaff, III, M.D. is for informational purposes only. As each woman is unique, do not rely on this information for diagnosis and treatment. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content and advise that you see a qualified Health Care Professional for individual needs and care.