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Urodynamics is the study of how the body stores and releases urine. The test measures the function of your bladder, urethra, and pelvic floor muscles. Bladder pressure, urine flow, and muscle movement are assessed as your bladder fills and empties. This test is widely used in adults and children. It informs your doctor on how to treat your bladder symptoms.

Before the Test

The test takes place in the Urology Clinic. Expect the test to take 1½ to 2 hours. Arrive at the clinic ready to urinate. The nurse will ask you to empty your bladder once you are called back into the room. If you are on a catheterization program, stay on your schedule. There is no extra prep needed, unless you have been told to do so by your doctor or nurse. You may eat and drink as usual before this test.

During the Test

You may be asked to urinate in a special toilet to measure the force of your urine flow, the time it takes to pass urine and the amount of urine in your bladder. Please wait for the nurse to tell you when to empty your bladder for this test.

A small soft tube (catheter) will be placed in your bladder though your urethra. A small pressure sensor may be put just inside your rectum. This will not hurt. You may also have small sticky pads placed next to your rectum to measure your pelvic floor muscles.

Once the tubes and pads are in place, we will hook them up to a computer. Your bladder will be filled slowly with sterile water. The nurse will ask you questions about how you are feeling as your bladder fills. When you have a strong urge to pass urine, you will be asked to relax and empty your bladder with the catheter in place. Your bladder may be filled a second time to be sure we get exact results.

If you have been scheduled for a video urodynamic study, we will fill your bladder with x-ray contrast instead of water. The contrast allows your doctor to use x-ray images to see your bladder while filling, straining, coughing, and passing urine. 

After the Test

When the test is complete, the catheters and pads are removed. You should be able to return to your normal routine right after the test. Some people may see blood in their urine or have some mild soreness while urinating for a short time after this test, this is normal. 

When to Call 

  • Fever greater than 100.4°F by mouth for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart

  • Problems passing urine

  • Large blood clots in your urine 

  • Bloody urine you cannot see through

Who to Call

UW Health Urology 608-263-4757

UW Health at The American Center Urology 608-440-6464

UW Health One South Park Urology 608-287-2900

After hours, nights, weekends, and holidays, the clinic number is answered by the paging operator. Ask for the urology doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

Toll Free: 1-844-607-4800

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If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.