What is urodynamics?
The testing commonly referred to as urodynamics includes several tests to evaluate the function of your lower urinary tract. Specifically, as urogynecologists, we are interested in how your bladder stores and empties urine.
Why do we perform urodynamics
Pelvic floor disorders, including urinary incontinence or the leakage of urine, affect many women. Symptoms of urinary leakage vary widely, and sometimes urodynamics can help delineate the type of incontinence that a woman is experiencing. Also, these tests are particularly helpful in women who are planning to undergo prolapse or incontinence surgery, or those who have already done so. These tests oftentimes will help direct you and your urogynecologist to the treatment or surgery that will best address your needs.
How is the test performed?
On the day of the testing, you should come to the office with a comfortably full bladder. You do not need to adhere to a special diet or fast prior to the testing. Our nurse who will be performing the test will orient you to the procedure room in which the testing will be completed.
The first part of the test measures the flow of your urine while emptying your bladder normally. Following this, you will have a small catheter placed in your bladder, which will be used to fill it with sterile water. The catheter also has a tiny pressure sensor that will demonstrate the pressure of your bladder throughout the testing. Similar catheters are placed in your vagina and or rectum. At the end of the test, you will empty your bladder with the small catheter in place.
Throughout the test you will be asked questions regarding your bladder sensation. We will also ask you to perform activities which might trigger your leakage like coughing, straining, changing your position, or jumping while your bladder is full. This will provide your urogynecologist with information about how your bladder functions and which treatment will be best for you.
Following the test you will be given an antibiotic to ensure that you don’t develop a urinary tract infection.
The testing is not painful and will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.