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Types of Urodynamic Testing 

Urodynamic tests are used to diagnose urinary problems, such as urinary incontinence. 

Urodynamic tests, or urodynamic studies (UDS), are a series of tests used to monitor how well the bladder, sphincters and urethra hold and release urine. These tests can help a doctor identify and treat leaks and blockages in the urinary system.  

Types of urodynamic tests include: 

  • Cystometrography 
  • Pressure flow study 
  • Electromyography  
  • Urethral pressure profile 
  • Uroflowmetry 

Why Is Urodynamic Testing Performed? 

The various types of urodynamic tests measure and monitor various urinary problems, but combined, they provide a complete picture of how a patient’s urinary system is functioning. In general, a doctor may recommend urodynamic testing when a patient experiences: 

  • Problems with urine leaking or urine flow control 
  • The bladder not emptying all the way 
  • Weak urine flow 
  • The need to urinate frequently 
  • The need to urinate suddenly 
  • Intermittent urine flow  
  • Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs) 
  • Pain when urinating 

Procedure Details 

The specific procedure details for each urodynamic test will vary. Here is a brief look at what each test entails: 

  • Cystometrography - uses catheters to measure pressure inside your bladder and determine how much your bladder can hold and when you feel the need to urinate 
  • Pressure flow study – uses a manometer to measure flow rate of urine at the end of a cystometrogram 
  • Electromyography - measures the electrical activity of the muscles and nerves in and around the bladder and the sphincters 
  • Urethral pressure profile – measures the balance of pressure at each point along the bladder neck, urethra and sphincters while distending fluid is instilled into the urinary system 
  • Uroflowmetry - measures how much and how quickly you urinate 

What to Expect 

Each of these procedures have minimal risks associated with them, and only mild discomfort or soreness may be experienced when you urinate. A small amount of blood may be present in urine after urodynamic tests requiring a catheter.  

Your physician may recommend that you take: 

  • A warm bath to ease any pain at the urethral opening 
  • Over-the-counter pain medication 
  • An antibiotic to prevent infection 

Effectiveness 

Urodynamic testing is extremely helpful in diagnosing urinary incontinence and other problems with the urinary tract in both men and women. The urologists at Tampa General Hospital perform urodynamic testing procedures to provide patients with prompt and reliable diagnoses and treatment.