Urodynamic testing or Urodynamics is a study that assesses how the bladder and urethra are performing their job of storing and releasing urine. Urodynamic tests can help explain symptoms such as:
- Frequent urination
- Sudden, strong urge to urinate but nothing comes out
- Problems starting a urine stream
- Painful urination
- Problems emptying the bladder completely
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
Purpose of testing
The tests are most often arranged for men with enlarged prostate glands, and for women with incontinence that has either failed conservative treatment or requires surgery. Probably the most important group in whom these tests are performed are those with a neuropathy such as spinal injury. In some of these patients (dependent on the level of the lesion), the micturition reflex can be essentially out of control and the detrusor pressures generated can be life-threatening.
Symptoms reported by the patient are often an unreliable guide to the underlying dysfunction of the lower urinary tract. The purpose of urodynamics is to provide objective confirmation of the pathology that a patient’s symptoms would suggest.