Urodynamic testing is an evaluation of how well the bladder, sphincters, and urethra are functioning. Tests range from simple observation to precise measurements using sophisticated instruments. Urodynamic testing may be recommended if a patient is experiencing any of the following lower urinary tract symptoms:

  • Urine leakage
  • Frequent and/or painful urination
  • Sudden, strong urges to urinate
  • Problems starting a urine stream and/or completely emptying a bladder
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections

Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, you should be able to continue taking your normally scheduled medications prior to your appointment. You may also eat and drink prior to the study. It is recommended that you arrive with a comfortably full bladder.

Urodynamic testing focuses on the bladder’s ability to hold urine, and empty steadily and completely. It can also show whether the bladder is having involuntary contractions that cause urine leakage.


This study measures the flow rate of your urine. Try not to empty your bladder one hour before you test is scheduled to ensure you come to the test feeling as though you need to urinate.

The test involves urinating into a special commode that allows a computer to measure your urine flow rate and voided volume.

Electromyography (EMG):

This study measures how well you can control your sphincter (outlet) muscles, and helps determine if they are working in coordination with your bladder. Electrodes, or ‘sticky patches’, are placed near the rectum to record sphincter muscle activity.


A Cystometrogram measures your bladder capacity and evaluates how your bladder holds urine. Physicians use it to determine how well you can control your bladder muscle.

A very small catheter is placed in your bladder, and another is placed in your rectum. They measure both the pressure inside your bladder and the pressure your body exerts on your bladder. During the test, you are asked to report the sensations you feel as your bladder is filled, such as when you first feel the need to urinate and when that feeling intensifies.

To test for urine leakage, you may be asked to cough, bear down, or stand during the test. You will be asked to urinate at the end of the study.

Dr. Michael Scolieri is a board certified urologist specializing in female urology, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at the Comprehensive Urology Institute with offices conveniently located in Salem, Canfield, and Alliance, OH. 

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