What is Urodynamics Test
Urodynamics is a test for finding out how your bladder, sphincter (the muscle around the neck of your bladder) and the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body) are working. The test can help find out the cause for bladder problems such as incontinence, or difficulty in passing urine. The test may include X-rays to help your consultant make a diagnosis.
The urodynamics test is performed in a room in the X-ray department. You will be asked to lie down on a special table and two thin tubes (catheters) are then inserted into your bladder through your urethra. You may feel the sensation of needing to pass urine as the catheters are put in. Some consultants may use a local anaesthetic gel when inserting these catheters but this is not always needed.
The purpose of a urodynamics test is to find out:
- if your symptoms are due to involuntary contractions (squeezing) or over activity of your bladder muscles
- if you have the bladder capacity we would normally expect
- if your bladder pressure is normal during filling and emptying
A urodynamics test is usually performed as an out-patient procedure. The test results will help you and your consultant decide if you need to alter your current treatment, or if you need surgery.
Urodynamics tests are used to help diagnose
- Stress urinary incontinence
- Urge urinary incontinence
- Mixed incontinence (stress and urge urinary incontinence)
A urodynamics test may also be helpful in investigating other causes of incontinence. Urodynamic tests are particularly important if surgery is being considered for the problem, to make sure the correct operation is performed.
After the tests some people may feel a slight stinging or burning sensation when passing urine. If you drink plenty of fluids these symptoms should settle fairly quickly. If discomfort lasts more than 24 hours, take a sample of your urine to your GP for testing as it may be a sign of infection.
Some people find a small amount of blood in their urine when they go to the toilet. If this lasts more than 24 hours, you should see your GP as it could be a sign of infection.