Urodynamic studies are tests to determine how well the bladder, sphincters and urethra hold and release urine. Urodynamic tests assess how well these tissues perform their job at controlling urinary functions and help explain the following symptoms:
- Urinary incontinence
- Frequent urination
- Problems starting urination
- Painful urination
- Frequent bladder fullness
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
There are a variety of urodynamic tests that may be prescribed depending on the patient’s specific symptoms and concerns. They help the physician determine the cause and nature of a patient’s incontinence and give them the best options for treatment.
What to Expect:
Each test may take about 30 minutes, and several tests may be required depending on the patient. Some standard tests include:
- Post-void residual volume: Measures the volume of urine after completely emptying the bladder
- Culture check: Tests for infection in the urinary tract or bladder
- Uroflowmetry: Measures how fast the patient can empty their bladder
- Cystometry: Allows the physician to see the bladder and urethra in detail
- Electromyography: Measures the electrical activity in the bladder
Most of these tests are non-invasive, but some may require a catheter of some sort. In these cases, there may be mild discomfort following the test that may subside after 12-24 hours.