What Is Urodynamic Testing for Female Urinary Incontinence?


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Urodynamic testing for female urinary incontinence is a variety of procedures that evaluate the performance of the bladder, urethra and sphincters in storing and releasing urine, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, or NIDDK. Most of these tests focus on the bladder’s ability to hold urine and empty itself steadily and completely.

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Additionally, urodynamic testing measures whether the bladder is experiencing abnormal, involuntary contractions that cause leakage, states Gynecologic Specialists of Northwestern, South Carolina. It evaluates several factors concerning urine flow, including the difficulty in starting a urine stream, the amount of strain to maintain the urine stream, whether the stream spontaneously halts and whether any urine remains upon voiding. Urodynamic testing also determines the type of incontinence.

Urodynamic testing ranges from simple observation, such as a health care professional recording the amount of time it takes to produce a urine stream, to precise assessments using sophisticated instruments, explains NIDDK. Urodynamic tests include uroflowmetry, cystometric test, pressure flow study and measurements of leak point pressure and post-void residual. Electromyography and video urodynamics are other evaluations. The doctor decides which tests to administer based on the patient’s health, physical exam and lower urinary tract symptoms. The specific course of tests varies from individual to individual.

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