Urodynamics (Bladder Function Study)


The lower urinary tract includes the bladder, urethra, and sphincter muscle.  We test the lower urinary tract to find out how the bladder functions when it fills and empties.  This is called Urodynamics.  This test will help your doctor determine the nature of your urinary problems.           

The test takes about one hour.  Please allow yourself enough time to get to your appointment.  If you are 15 minutes late and the schedule does not allow enough time for your test, you will be asked to reschedule to another day.   

  • If you need help with walking, dressing, undressing, or transferring, you must bring someone to assist you.
  • If you have difficulty speaking English, please bring someone to assist in translating.  This person must have a good understanding of English, and will be present during the test.
  • Please inform our office if you need to cancel your appointment at least 24 hours before your test.  If you do not, you may be charged a $40 no-show fee.  A new appointment will not be made until the fee is paid.

Getting Ready for Urodynamics Testing

How do I prepare for the test?

  1. You do not have to fast before the test.
  2. Drink 2-3 cups of fluid (i.e., water, cranberry juice, milk, herbal tea) 90 minutes prior to your test so that you arrive with the urge to void.  You should not be uncomfortable.  If you have urinary urgency, you may adjust the amount of water and the time that you drink the water to suit your bladder.  DO NOT drink large volumes of water quickly right before your appointment.  DO NOT empty your bladder when you arrive for your appointment.  Ask to speak with the nurse if you feel you must empty your bladder.
  3. Avoid drinks with caffeine on the day of your test (i.e., coffee, tea, colas, etc)
  4. Please take a bath or shower the morning of your test.
  5. A woman’s menstrual cycle can interfere with testing if it is a heavy flow day.  You may wear a tampon, should that occur.  If you would like to reschedule, please notify the office.
  6. You may find it more comfortable if you have a bowel movement before the test.  This is not essential, but if you have not had a bowel movement in several days a Fleets prep (enema) can be helpful prior to your testing. 
  7. If you are presently taking antibiotics for a urinary tract infection (UTI) or bladder infection, notify the nurse.  If you have an infection on the day of the test we will have to reschedule your test to another time, following treatment for the infection.
  8. If you have a heart murmur or have had a heart valve replaced, or have had joint replacement (hip/knee), and normally take antibiotics before any dental work, you will be given an injection of an antibiotic prior to your test.

What happens during the test?

  1. You will be asked to undress from the waist down only.  The nurse will ask you about your symptoms and general health before starting the test.  There are three phases to the test.
  2. You are asked to urinate into a container.  This container is joined to a computer that records the speed and amount of urine you void.
  3. A small catheter is inserted into your bladder.  This is usually not painful, but you will have slight discomfort for about 10 seconds as the catheter is inserted.  A second small tube is inserted into your rectum.
  1. Your bladder will be slowly filled with sterile water and the nurse will ask you a series of questions during this phase of the test.  This part of the testing shows what happens in the bladder as it fills.  It measures: bladder compliance, capacity, and leaking pressures, if you have urinary incontinence.
  2. You will be asked to urinate again with a catheter and tube in place.  This will measure how your bladder empties.  The nurse will remove the catheter and rectal tube completing the exam.

After the test

You may experience a slight burning and possibly a small amount of blood in your urine when you urinate.  This will clear within 24 to 48 hours after your test.  Drink about 4 to 6 glasses of fluid.  Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol for 24 hours after your test    

Skip to content