Having a Urodynamic Study

You will be told how to prepare for the urodynamic study. Tell your Bloomington healthcare provider which medications you're taking, and ask whether you should stop them before the study. You may be asked to keep a diary of your urination habits for a few days before the study. This diary can be a helpful part of your evaluation. Ask whether you need to arrive for the study with a full bladder. The tests are generally painless, so you don't need sedating medication.

Tests that may be done

At certain points during the study, you'll probably be asked to urinate. Try to relax to help make the study results as realistic and reliable as possible. A catheter (soft, hollow tube) or special sensor may be placed in your urethra and sometimes your rectum to help with the study. Test that may be done during the study include:

  • Uroflowmetry: This test measures the amount and speed of urine you void from your bladder. You urinate into a funnel attached to a computer that records your urine flow over time. The amount of urine left in your bladder after you void may also be measured immediately after this test.

  • Cystometry: This test evaluates how much the bladder can hold, how strong the bladder muscle is, and how well the signals work that tell you when your bladder is full. Through a catheter, your bladder is filled with sterile water or saline solution. You're asked to report any sensations you feel and whether they're similar to symptoms you've felt at home. You may be asked to cough, stand and walk, or bear down during this test.

  • Electromyogram: This test helps evaluate the muscle contractions that control urination. Electrode patches or wires may be placed near the rectum or urethra to make the recording. You may be asked to try to tighten or relax your sphincter muscles during this test.

  • Pressure Flow Study: This test measures the pressure and flow of urine out of you bladder. It is often performed after Cystometry. You're asked to urinate while a probe in the urethra measures pressures.

  • Video Cystourethrography: This test takes video pictures of urine flow through the urinary tract. It can help identify blockages or other problems. The bladder is filled with an x-ray contrast fluid, then x-ray video pictures are taken as the fluid is urinated out.

Getting your results

When the study is finished you'll get dressed and return to the consultation room. Test results may be available soon after the study is finished, or you may return to the doctor's office in a few days for your results. The report may include a summary of the study results, the diagnosis, and suggestions for further evaluation or treatment. The professional, women's healthcare providers at Premier Primary Care and Gynecology can talk with you about the study report and your treatment options.

Dr. Mary Mahern, MD
Dr. Clark Brittain, DO

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