Urodynamics is an office-based test to evaluate how the bladder is functioning. Just like an electrocardiogram (EKG) for the heart, urodynamics is performed to see how well your bladder stores urine and how effectively your bladder empties urine. Urodynamics is very helpful in women who have overactive bladder symptoms, as well as a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying.
For the test, a very thin tube (catheter) is placed into the urethra. Another one is placed in the vagina or rectum. These tube in the bladder measures the pressure in the bladder, and the tube in the vagina or rectum gauges the pressure in the abdominal cavity. You will be seated on a commode and your bladder will be filled slowly with sterile water. Stickers are placed at the level of the pelvic floor muscles to see whether there is coordinated function of the muscles.
As your bladder is filling, Dr. Kumar will be asking you questions about how much you feel like you have to urinate. She will have you cough at certain intervals to see how easily you leak urine, and she will be able to see whether you are having bladder spasms that contribute to your urinary symptoms. When your bladder feels full, Dr. Kumar will tell you to go ahead and urinate. When you go, there is a sensor which calculates how strong your stream is, how well your bladder contracts, if your bladder is able to sustain the contraction to empty fully, and whether your pelvic floor muscles appropriately relax for you to urinate properly.