What Is A Urodynamic Test?

You may be asked to have a urodynamic test if you are experiencing incontinence or bothersome urinary symptoms.

A urodynamics test enables your doctor to understand more precisely how your bladder and urethra are working, what sort of incontinence you have, the cause of your urinary symptoms and what will be the best treatment for you.

What happens when I come into clinic?

When you arrive at the clinic, you will be asked to fill your bladder by drinking water. Assessments will then be made to measure:

  • How well your bladder fills and stores urine.
  • What happens when you pass urine.

Urodynamics tests vary, depending on the type of problems you are experiencing, but may include all or some of the following:

  • A sample of your urine will be assessed for any infection.
  • Your flow rate will be measured. This is an assessment of how fast you are passing urine. If your flow rate is very slow, this suggests you may have an obstruction getting in the way of the flow (for example, an enlarged prostate) or a weak bladder muscle (detrusor).
  • After you have passed urine, a test to see whether there is any urine left in your bladder. This is done using a urinary catheter to extract any urine remaining. If you are failing to void (empty your bladder) sufficiently, you are at a greater risk of developing urinary tract infections.
  • The test will also assess how your bladder and urethra responds while it is being filled and while it is full. They will check whether there are involuntary contractions of your bladder and also assess the strength of your bladder when you cough or move suddenly.
  • You may also need to have an x-ray of your bladder.

Will there be any pain or discomfort?

Patients can experience a little mild discomfort during the assessments, but they are not normally painful. Most commonly, patients worry that a urodynamics test will be embarrassing. However, this assessment is carried out by our consultant or advanced nurse practitioner, who are experienced in this area and will ensure you are comfortable throughout the process. It normally takes up to 40 minutes.