When a woman talks with her Gynecologist about incontinence issues, one of the diagnostic tests they may recommend is urodynamics, which can help determine how well your bladder is storing and releasing urine.
“Located in the pelvic area, the bladder stores urine with muscles holding the bladder closed,” says McLeod Gynecologist Gary Emerson, MD. “A normal bladder can hold about 2 cups for as long as 5 hours. When the bladder is full, the brain signals the muscles to squeeze, emptying the bladder. Another set of muscles relaxes, allowing the liquid to exit the body.”
If the brain isn’t sending the correct signals or the muscles aren’t reacting properly, urodynamic testing can help identify the cause of:
Normally, urodynamic tests do not require any special preparations, although some patients may be asked to halt certain medications or change their fluid consumption. For the in-office test, the Gynecologist will fill the bladder with liquid and then begin observations.
The Gynecologist may time how long it takes a patient to produce a stream, how much volume is collected and the patient’s ability to start and stop the flow. For more complex cases, imaging equipment and pressure sensors, along with muscle and nerve monitors may be used.
SERIES OF TESTS
To help you understand what’s happening, here are descriptions of the most common urodynamic tests:
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
Don’t suffer with leakage or that sudden urge to go. See your Gynecologist for a diagnosis and discussion of options for treating your problem.
Sources: McLeod Health, American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Urology Care Foundation, Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, National Institutes of Health