How Do You Get Tested for Bladder Problems?


Quick Answer

If bladder cancer is suspected, a doctor orders diagnostic tests, such as cystoscopy, biopsy, urine sample analysis and imaging tests such as CT scans, according to Mayo Clinic. For overactive bladder cases, postvoid residual volume tests and bladder stress tests that include Bonney tests are commonly used, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

In cases of overactive bladder, analysis of a urine sample is used to rule out infection or inflammation typically indicated by the presence of white blood cells or bacteria in the urine, as explained by WebMD. Doctors are likely to suspect kidney problems if the test finds blood or proteins in the urine, and if glucose is present, diabetes is a potential conclusion. In a postvoid residual volume test, a catheter is passed through the urethra and into a recently emptied bladder to drain the urine that remains in order to measure it and asses how well the bladder is emptying with urination. The remaining urine can also be measured by an ultrasound of the bladder.

Pressing the full bladder during a stress test while simultaneously lifting the neck allows a doctor to determine the mechanical reason for urinary incontinence, explains WebMD. A lighted instrument called a cystoscope is often used to inspect the inside of the urethra and bladder. A voiding cystourethrogram determines if structural problems such as a blockage in the bladder or urethra are causing the frequency issue. During this procedure, a dye is injected into the bladder and X-rays are taken as the patient urinates.

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