Urodynamic Testing

Your physician needs to know how your bladder holds and empties urine. Urodynamic testing will help them identify problems and suggest treatment options.

Urodynamic testing includes several tests to show how the following are working:

  • Bladder
  • Sphincter
  • Pelvic floor

Symptoms of Bladder Disorders

Causes of bladder disorders vary widely. Symptoms can include:

  • Needing to urinate often and/or urgently
  • Not emptying the bladder fully when urinating
  • Leakage of urine

Who Can Benefit From Urodynamic Testing

Urodynamic testing can be helpful for:

  • Women who are considering prolapse (bladder support) or incontinence (bladder leakage) surgery
  • Men who are considering prostate or sphincter surgery
  • Patients with unclear cause of urinary complaints or leakage

Urodynamic testing can help direct you and your physician to the treatment(s) or surgery that will best address your needs.

What to Expect During Testing

You do not need to follow a special diet or avoid food before testing.

On the day of the testing, arrive at your appointment with a comfortably full bladder. We will bring you to a procedure room for testing.

The first part of the test measures the flow of your urine while emptying your bladder normally.

After this, we will insert a small catheter (a thin, flexible tube) into your bladder. Then, we will fill your bladder with sterile water.

  • The catheter has a tiny pressure sensor that will measure the pressure of your bladder throughout the testing.
  • We will place similar catheters inside the vagina or rectum.
  • We may apply more sensors to the perineum, which is the area between the vaginal opening or scrotum and the anus.

At the end of the test, you will empty your bladder with the small catheter in place.

Throughout the test, we will ask you questions about how your bladder feels. While your bladder is full, we may also ask you to do activities, like cough, strain, change your position or jump, that might cause urine to leak. Then, we will ask you to empty your bladder.

The testing is not usually painful. It takes about 30 minutes.

After the test, we may give you an antibiotic. This is medication to help ensure that you do not get a urinary tract infection after the test. You will be able to return to normal activity right away.