Pelvic Health Diagnostic Tests

Northwestern Medicine offers advanced diagnostic procedures to help identify your pelvic health condition and determine an individualized treatment plan. To ensure your ongoing comfort, we guarantee patient privacy in all of our procedure rooms.

Depending upon your symptoms and concerns, your care team may recommend one or more diagnostic tests, including:

  • Complex uroflowmetry: This procedure is performed to measure the amount of urine in your bladder and the rate at which your urine flows.
  • Cystourethroscopy: Also known as a cystoscopy, this test examines the inside of your bladder and urethra. It is often used to diagnose and evaluate urinary tract disorders, such as:
    • Urinary tract inflammation
    • Kidney or bladder stones
    • Bladder tumors
  • Cystometry: Also called a cystometrogram, this procedure measures pressure in your bladder. During the test, you are asked to perform certain maneuvers, while your bladder is gently filled with sterile water through a catheter. This test helps diagnose conditions, including:
    • Overactive bladder
    • Decreased bladder compliance
    • Sensation of urinary urgency that causes frequent urination
    • Decreased sensation of bladder filling
  • Pressure-flow voiding studies: These studies are performed to determine the ability of your bladder and urethra to properly expel urine.
  • Urethral pressure profilometry: This procedure reveals the pressure in your urethra, offering results that can help physicians determine surgical treatment.
  • Video urodynamic testing: Through this procedure, physicians are able to visualize the size and shape of your urinary tract. It is commonly used if you’ve experienced urine leakage or a blocked flow of urine.
  • Transrectal and transanal 3-D ultrasound: These ultrasounds reveal images of your lower rectum, anal sphincters and pelvic floor to help physicians diagnose and treat anorectal disorders.
  • Anorectal manometry: This test evaluates the strength of the muscles that control your bowel movements.
  • Electromyography (EMG): In an EMG test, physicians can determine if the nerves supporting the sphincter muscles in your rectum and pelvic floor are intact, and that the muscles relax and contract as they should.
  • Pudendal nerve latency testing: This diagnostic test is used to assess the health of the nerves that support your sphincter muscle, as related to fecal incontinence.

Care for Pelvic Floor Disorders at Northwestern Medicine