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Urodynamics Test

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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.

Urodynamics Test


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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Video urodynamic tests use x-rays link or ultrasound to take pictures and videos of your bladder while it fills and empties. A trained technician may use a catheter to fill your bladder with contrast or dye for a better picture.
The test can measures abnormal contractions or spasms of your detrusor muscle (smooth muscle in the wall of the bladder) while the bladder is filling. While you might feel the catheter being inserted into the urethra, the test does not hurt.
Urodynamics testing measures how well the bladder, sphincters, and urethra store and release urine. Most urodynamics testing focus on the bladder's ability to hold urine and empty steadily and completely.
Your urodynamics test will last approximately 60 minutes. The test is generally painless, so you don't require sedation. To begin your test, the nurse will ask you to empty your bladder in a special chair.
Most of the complications associated with UDS are related to urinary tract infections (UTI) and the majority of this blog will focus on that. Additional complications include pain, patient anxiety and injury from catheter placement.
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