An overactive bladder is a common condition characterized by urinary frequency and urgency.
To confirm the diagnosis of this condition, some tests need to be performed. These tests are collectively known as urodynamic testing.
What is urodynamic testing?
Urodynamic testing describes the measure of the bladder’s ability to empty properly. This testing can also determine whether the bladder muscles are contracting involuntarily, which causes urgency, frequency, and incontinence.
After inserting the catheter inside the bladder through the urethra, the device will measure the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination.
The catheter will then deliver water to the bladder in order to assess its capacity and the volume required to trigger the urge of urination.
The measurements allow your healthcare provider to evaluate the function of the bladder, sphincters, and urethra.
What are the indications of urodynamic testing?
Your healthcare provider may recommend urodynamic testing if you have the following symptoms:
The common recorded parameters include:
To increase the accuracy of the measurements, your doctor may use imaging tests to take pictures of the bladder during the filling and emptying phases. Pressure monitors also help record the tonicity of the muscles of the bladder, while sensors record the electrical activity and responsiveness of the nerves and muscles.
Based on a variety of factors, including your medical history, findings on your physical examination, and results of other tests, your healthcare provider will decide the best urodynamic test to choose for your case. Fortunately, the vast majority of urodynamic tests do not require special preparations. However, you may need to change your fluid intake or interrupt some medications until you undergo the testing.
Depending on the type of test your doctor opts for, you may need to keep your bladder full or empty.
What are the urodynamic tests?
As mentioned above, there are several types of urodynamic tests, which include: