Uroflowmetry TestA uroflowmetry test measures the amount of urine the bladder retains and releases during urination. The measure of how much urine the bladder releases during urination is called uroflowmetry. Also known as a uroflow test or uroflowmetry test, this simple diagnostic procedure allows doctors to calculate the flow rate of urine over time and diagnose a variety of conditions that affect the bladder and urinary sphincters.
Why Are Uroflow Tests Performed?
The suspicion of several conditions may lead your doctor to recommend uroflowmetry testing. Some of those conditions include:
- Prostate enlargement, or benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Prostate cancer
- Bladder cancer
- A blockage in the urinary tract
- Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
- Urinary incontinence
- Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
The uroflow test may be performed in combination with other urodynamic tests to provide a complete picture of urinary system health.
The uroflowmetry test is not like a urinalysis test, during which you urinate into a specimen cup. Instead, the procedure follows this process:
- You’ll need to arrive at your doctor’s office with a full bladder.
- You’ll situate yourself to urinate into a funnel-shaped device or into a specialized toilet to complete the test.
- When you urinate, don’t try to change the speed or flow of urine in any way.
- An electronic device called a uroflowmeter will be connected to the device or toilet. This measures your:
- Quantity of urine (in millimeters)
- Speed of urine (in millimeters per second)
- And the length of time it takes to completely empty your bladder (in seconds)
The uroflowmeter will record and document these measurements and identify major differences compared to average rates (based on age and sex) for your doctor to review.
What to Expect
The entire uroflow test takes less than 30 minutes, and besides having a full bladder prior to the test, there is nothing else you need to do to prepare for the test. However, your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medications that could affect the outcome.
The results of the test will be charted and your doctor can review them with you immediately. In general:
- A slow or low flow rate may indicate a blockage in the bladder neck or in the urethra, or an enlarged prostate or a weak bladder.
- A fast or high flow rate may indicate weak urethral muscles or issues with urinary incontinence.
From there, your doctor may recommend additional tests, or he or she will confirm a diagnosis and suggest treatments.
Uroflowmetry tests are an effective diagnostic method to help identify problems with the urinary tract. The urologic experts at Tampa General Hospital frequently administer uroflow tests to provide patients with the world-class care and treatment.