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Urodynamic Studies

Urodynamic studies may be done in your doctor’s office, a clinic, or a hospital. The studies may take up to an hour or more. This depends on which tests your doctor does. The tests are generally painless. You won’t need sedating medication.

Man wearing hospital gown lying on back on exam table. Table is tilted so man's head is higher than feet. Healthcare provider is standing next to table.

Tests that may be done

Uroflowmetry. This measures the amount and speed of urine you void from your bladder. You urinate into a funnel. It’s 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 right after this test.

Cystometry. This test evaluates how much your bladder can hold. It also measures how strong your bladder muscle is and how well the signals work that tell you when your bladder is full. Your health care provider fills your bladder with sterile water or saline solution, through a catheter. Your doctor will instruct you to report any sensations you feel. Mention if they’re similar to symptoms you’ve felt at home. Your doctor may ask you to cough, stand and walk, or bear down during this test.

Electromyogram. This helps evaluate the muscle contractions that control urination, such as sphincter muscle contractions. Your health care provider may place electrode patches or wires near your rectum or urethra to make the recording. He or she may ask you to try to tighten or relax your sphincter muscles during this test.

Pressure flow study. This test measures your detrusor, urethral, and abdominal pressures. Detrusor is the muscle surrounding the bladder walls that relaxes to allow your bladder to fill, and and contracts to squeeze out urine. A pressure flow study is often done after cystometry. You’re asked to urinate while a probe in your urethra measures pressures.

Video cystourethrography. This takes video pictures of urine flow through your 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. Ultrasound imaging may also be combined with routine urodynamic studies.

Ambulatory urodynamics. This test can be used to evaluate you while doing usual activities.

Getting your results

After the study, you’ll get dressed and return to the consultation room. Test results may be ready soon after the study is finished. Or, you may return to your doctor’s office in a few days for your results. Your doctor can talk with you about the study report and your options.


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