- Uroflowmetry – Is a test measuring speed and volume of urine. During this test a person privately urinates into a funnel or special toilet which has a container and a scale. The computerised equipment creates a graph showing changes in flow rate. If bladder muscles are weak results will show as abnormal.
- Post Void Residual Measurement – measures amount of urine still left in the bladder after urination. This measurement is usually done with an ultrasound using sound waves to take a picture of the bladder and contents and it can also be done by a doctor or technician inserting a catheter into the bladder to remove and measure the remaining urine.
- Multi channel cystometry – A cystometric test measures capacity of the bladder, the pressure it builds up inside and how full the bladder is when the urge to urinate begins. Once the bladder is completely empty it is slowly filled with warm water via a catheter, indicating when the urge to urinate occurs then the volume of water and the pressure are recorded. This test can also record involuntary bladder contractions.
- Leak Point Pressure Measurement – measures pressure a the point of leakage. While the bladder is being filled for the cystometric test, the bladder may suddenly contract and squeeze out some water. A monometer inside the bladder measures the pressure inside when this leakage occurs.
Pressure Flow Study – Helps to identify bladder outlet blockage ( more frequently in men but also in women with a cystocele) using a monometer to measure internal pressure and flow rate as the bladder is emptied of water.
- Electromyography – Is a test using special sensors to measure the electrical impulses of muscles and nerves in and around the bladder and sphincters. These sensors record impulses on a machine and these show whether the messages sent to the bladder and sphincters are correctly co-ordinated and can indicate any nerve or muscle damage. Local anaesthesia is required.
- Video Urodynamic Tests – take pictures and videos of the bladder during filling and emptying. This may be done using x ray or ultrasound. With xrays the bladder is filled with a contrast liquid which shows up on x rays, with the ultrasound the bladder is filled with warm water and sound waves make a picture. Local anaesthesia is oly needed for filling the bladder with the liquid.
Ambulatory urodynamics – Is a test that investigates your bladder function more naturally than some other tests. You attend a hospital as an outpatient and are asked to try and have a full bladder which you will pass into a special toilet which measures rate and flow. An ultrasound may be used to check that the bladder is empty. Two small tubes are inserted, one into the urethra and one into the rectum. Both of these tubes measure pressure and are connected to a recorder box, along with an electronic pad which records any leakage. You can get dressed again but need to stay in the hospital until you have been to the toilet at least twice.
However, these tests will not be recommended until simple urodynamic testing of your Lower Urinary Tract (LUT) condition has been undertaken and requires further diagnosis.
Most urodynamics tests do not require any preparation except in some instances a full bladder. There may be mild discomfort urinating for a few hours after having urodynamics testing
You will need to see a specialist if:
- You are found to have a palpable bladder after voiding
- Any visible or microscopic blood is found in the urine of women aged 50 or more
- You are 40 years or older and have recurring UTI and blood in the urine.
- A physical exam finds a malignant mass in the urinary tract
- You have persisting bladder or urethral pain
- A chronically benign mass/masses in the pelvis
- You have associated incontinence of the bowel
- You have suspected neurological disease
- You have suspected urogenital fistulae ( a hole)
- You have had previous continence surgery
- You have had previous pelvic cancer surgery
- You have had previous pelvic radiation therapy