What is urodynamic testing?
Urodynamic studies or urodynamic testing are tests which are carried out with the objective of understanding the functioning of the lower urinary tract, e.g how well the bladder, urethra, and sphincters are able to hold and release urine.
What does it consist of?
There are various types of urodynamic test, and your urologist will recommend one, or more in some cases, depending on the symptoms which present. However, most urodynamic tests are all performed at once rather than individually. Some of the tests performed include:
- Uroflowmetry, which measures the speed of urine passed and how much is passed
- Cystometry, which measures how much urine the bladder can hold
- Pressure flow study, which measures the pressure in the bladder as you urinate
- Electromyography, which tests the pelvic floor muscles
Why is urodynamic testing performed?
Urodynamic testing is performed to diagnose pathologies such as urinary incontinence, neurological diseases that affect the urinary tract, urinary tract infections, etc. Testing may be performed to confirm:
- Neurological conditions affecting the bladder (myelodysplasias, spinal trauma, brain damage, etc.)
- Urinary incontinence in women and in men
- Recurrent urinary infections when anatomical causes are ruled out
- Urinary incontinence in children and enuresis (bedwetting)
- Urinary tract infections in children (when a functional cause is suspected)
- Lower urinary tract symptoms in men and women (frequent urination at night and day, urinary retention, burning when urinating, etc)
Preparation for urodynamic testing
Before the testing is carried out, your specialist or healthcare provider will speak to you about your symptoms and assess them. Before urodynamic testing is performed, the specialist or doctor generally will perform a physical exam and conduct normal urine tests, which may help to provide a diagnosis before urodynamic testing is considered.
Before the urodynamic testing is carried out (or immediately after testing), you will be given an antibiotic in order to prevent infection.