Urinary incontinence becomes more common as women get older, especially among those who have had multiple children. The experienced medical team at Advantia OB-GYN Shady Grove uses state-of-the-art urodynamics studies to assess the structure and function of the urinary tract so women can find relief for their symptoms.
What is urodynamic testing?
Urodynamic testing, or urodynamics, includes a series of tests used to diagnose the cause of urinary incontinence and to assess the function of the bladder and urethra. Several tests are available, and each test can be performed in the office without any need for surgery or anesthetics.
What types of urodynamic tests are there?
There are many types of urodynamic tests, some of which use catheters and some of which use other devices to obtain measurements of bladder function and capacity, as well as other factors that can contribute to urinary incontinence. Some of the most common types of tests include:
- Uroflowmetry uses a special meter to measure the amount of urine that comes out of the bladder during urination, as well as how quickly the bladder empties.
- The post-void residual assessment uses a catheter to measure how much urine remains in the bladder after urination.
- Cystometry uses a catheter to determine how much urine the bladder can hold, the amount of pressure inside the bladder while urine is being stored, and how full the bladder needs to be to trigger the need to urinate.
- Electromyography also may be used to measure the muscle contractions in the pelvic floor in some instances.
How will the doctor decide which type of urodynamic testing I need?
The type of urodynamic testing used will be determined by the symptoms that are present as well as the personal and family health history of the patient. Most patients require more than one type of test to determine the cause of their symptoms as well as to determine the best course of treatment.
How should I prepare for the test?
Most tests work best when the patient does not urinate for the three hours before the test to ensure the bladder is full. If urination takes place within those three hours, drinking water can help bring the bladder contents back to the proper level. If you take medication, be sure to ask if it can be taken prior to the test or if it should be delayed.