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Urodynamics bladder test

This is a test to take a look at loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence) and issues of the lower urinary tract. We do this test:

  • when we want to check if you are incontinent or not
  • if initial ways of managing incontinence haven't worked
  • to see if surgery is required, or
  • you have had surgery and are experiencing bladder issues.

This test helps to provide an accurate diagnosis, to explain the cause of the issues. When we have worked out the diagnosis, the doctor will talk with you about next steps for treatment.

What is involved in the test?

  1. Soft, fine tubes are placed into the bladder and rectum to record pressure readings in both the bladder and abdomen/pelvis
  2. The bladder is filled with sterile water
  3. You will be asked to cough, bear down and perform some physical activity at various stages during the test
  4. At the end of the test you will be asked to empty your bladder.

The test is uncomfortable, but not painful. It takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Cystoscopy

A cystoscopy allows a doctor to look into your bladder and urethra with a special telescope called a cystoscope.

A cystoscopy may be done to help to find the cause of symptoms such as:

  • Loss of bladder control (incontinence) or overactive bladder
  • Frequent bladder infections
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Unusual cells found in a urine sample
  • Pain in the bladder, urethra or during urination.

It may be carried out during surgical procedures such as a hysterectomy or incontinence-tape procedure, to ensure there has been no damage to the bladder or the ureters.