Urodynamic tests for urinary incontinence are measurements taken to evaluate your bladder's function and efficiency. The actual tests done vary from person to person.
Some urodynamic tests are relatively simple and can be done in a doctor's office; other tests require expensive and sophisticated instruments to measure the amount of pressure experienced by the bladder and urethra.
For basic urodynamic testing:
- You will be instructed to arrive for testing with a full bladder.
- While you urinate into a container, the volume of urine and the rate at which the bladder empties are measured.
- A thin, flexible tube (catheter) is then inserted into the bladder through the urethra, and the volume of any urine remaining in the bladder is measured (post-void residual, or PVR). A slight burning sensation may occur when the catheter is inserted.
- The bladder may be filled with water through the catheter until you have the first urge to urinate. The amount of water in the bladder is measured at this point, and more water may be added while you resist urinating until involuntary urination occurs.
More sophisticated testing uses electrodes placed in the rectum to measure the electrical activity of the muscles while the bladder fills. This test is not commonly done.
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