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Urodynamics are a range of tests to study the pressure and flow in the bladder as it fills up. We look at some of the urologic conditions it is used to help identify.
Women experiencing urinary leakage, either stress leakage or mixed urinary leakage (leakage caused both by pressure on the bladder and after a sudden urge to urinate) would also be recommended to have a bladder pressure test.
There are no alternative tests that enable doctors to obtain the information they can find out in a bladder pressure test.
If you are taking medicines for your bladder, such as oxybutinin tablets or patches, solifenacin, tolterodine, fesoterodine or mirabegron, you will need to stop taking them five days before the test.
The consultant will then give you a bladder record charge or bladder diary to record the input of fluid and output of urine and document the number of times number of times they are leaking urine and getting wet. This will give the capacity of the bladder.
You will be given a leaflet describing the bladder pressure test. A two-hour attendance is required and the test takes 40 minutes. You don't necessarily need to bring anyone to take you home and you don't have to take antibiotics prior to the test.
It is clearly explained to the patient that this is an embarrassing test - multiple people are present, including radiographers, nurses and trainees.
You will be asked to undress from the waist down and change into a gown that opens at the back. Once changed, you will be invited to lie down on a couch, and one tube is passed into the bladder and another into the rectum.
Women then sit on the toilet and men stand in front of the toilet and the tubes are connected to a bag of fluid that slowly fills up the bladder at a controlled rate (only a small amount of fluid passes into the rectum).
This enables the doctor to measure the pressure both inside and outside the bladder. Once the bladder is full, you will be asked to urinate with the tubes still in, showing what happens to the bladder as it empties.