Urodynamics and Urodynamic Testing
Urodynamic studies is a specific category of medical testing that is conducted to diagnose problems of the urinary system. These assessments are referred to as urodynamic testing, which aims to analyze how well the bladder, sphincters, and urethra are able to function when it comes to holding and releasing urine as desired.
Symptoms That Call for Urodynamic Testing
Most often, our office will recommend completing a type of urodynamic test when an individual experiences abnormal urinary symptoms such as an involuntary leakage of urine, or even total loss of control over the bladder. Other common urinary dysfunctions include:
- Frequent urination, particularly during nighttime hours
- Difficulty in emptying the bladder
- Repeated urinary tract infections
- Sudden and intense urges to urinate
- Pain during urination
- Issues in starting or stopping the flow of your urine
Types of Urodynamic Testing
Your urologist may order different evaluations to be performed based on which symptoms you experience. For example, the urodynamic tests of the bladder will differ from those of the urethra. It is also quite common for patients to complete several assessments of the urinary system if their previous results were inconclusive, or if the cause of their urinary issues are unknown.
Cystometry or Cystometrogram
In order to examine the bladder and its capacity, a cystometry will likely be ordered. Some patients can have difficulty in physically responding to actions created by the brain such as emptying the bladder while urinating. If this message is disrupted, the person may think that they are releasing all of their urine without actually doing so. This can lead to frequent urination and overly large amounts of urine in the bladder that can cause accidental leaks.
Pressure Flow Study
Along with a cystometry, patients also often complete a pressure flow study. This particular test analyzes how much pressure the patient needs to exert before they are able to establish a normal flow of urine.
Leak Point Pressure Measurement
Another component of the cystometry, the purpose of a leak point pressure measurement is to determine at what capacity the bladder begins to leak urine.
As its name suggests, a uroflowmetry is used to track the flow of a person’s urine. The two primary components of this test are the total volume and speed at which the individual is able to urinate, which will often alert your urologists to an issue of weakened muscles or blocked urine flow.
Electromyography or Electromyogram (EMG)
If we suspect that you have symptoms caused by a dysfunction of the nerves or muscles of the urinary system they may ask you to complete an electromyography or electromyogram. This test uses sensors to measure the sphincter and bladder activity and how well they respond to the person’s bodily commands.
Results and Follow-Up Treatments
Most urodynamic tests will be concluded after approximately 30 minutes depending upon the particular test being performed, and your physician will often consult with you afterward to discuss the outcome of your assessment(s). More complex tests such as an electromyography will typically take a couple of days before results will be available.
The goal of urodynamic testing is to determine a definitive cause of the person’s urinary discomfort. Once a source of the person’s symptoms has been identified, we can continue by offering their individualized recommendations and treatment options.
If you have been experiencing any symptoms of urinary dysfunction we urge you to make an appointment with Women’s Medical Associates of Southern NH as soon as possible. Allowing conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or overactive bladder to go undiagnosed and untreated will only result in symptoms that gradually worsen over time. To schedule a general consultation or specific urodynamic testing, please call (603) 880-9200 today.