Suffering From Urinary Incontinence? Learn How Urodynamic Testing Can Help

Are you afraid to cough or sneeze? Or are you worried about going out if you don't know where the nearest restroom is? While there are a variety of causes of urinary incontinence, they all have one thing in common — a negative impact on your life and happiness.

Many people feel embarrassed and choose not to tell anyone, while others believe there’s nothing that can be done. As a result, it's difficult to gauge exact numbers, but experts believe between one-quarter and one-third of men and women suffer from urinary incontinence. If you’re one of them, it's important to realize there are treatment options available.

At Monroe OBGYN in Monroe, Michigan, Drs. Soudabeh Ahadi and Martin Pakideh specialize in a wide range of services from routine gynecology and obstetric care to diagnosis and treatment of conditions like urinary incontinence and other women's health issues. With the latest state-of-the-art treatments and a personal and supportive environment, they are dedicated to improving your emotional and physical well-being.

What causes urinary incontinence?

A number of different reasons may cause incontinence — from pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause to a urinary tract infection, obstruction such as a kidney stone, a hysterectomy, and more. For some people, basic lifestyle changes can help improve symptoms. Others find relief through medical treatment.

What is urodynamic testing?

Urodynamic testing explores the effectiveness of the bladder, sphincters, and urethra in both storing and releasing urine. It is used in women and men and looks at pressure in and around your bladder, muscle and nerve function, rates of flow, and how much urine your bladder can hold, among other things.

Doctors use the findings to make a diagnosis and design the best treatment plan for your incontinence.

What specific tests are involved?

There are a number of urodynamic tests, the results of which help pinpoint the issue affecting your urination and guide proper diagnosis and treatment.

Uroflowmetry measures urine speed and volume as it leaves your body. While you urinate into a special funnel, a computer measures the amount of urine produced and rate of flow and then creates a graph for visual representation. If the muscles of your bladder are weak or if you have blocked flow, this test reveals these issues.

The postvoid residual measurement test determines whether your bladder is emptying properly by determining the amount of urine left after urination. This can be accomplished using either ultrasound equipment or a catheter, which evacuates excess urine.

Through the use of several catheters, the cytometric test determines how much urine your bladder can hold. It also measures spasms or abnormal contractions of your bladder wall's smooth muscle. During this test, doctors can also determine the pressure level inside your bladder when undesired leakage occurs using another test called the leak point pressure measurement. If muscle or nerve damage is suspected, an electromyography is conducted as well, using sensors to measure the electrical activity around your bladder and sphincters.

The pressure flow study measures the amount of pressure your bladder needs to urinate as well as the rate of flow vis-a-vis the pressure.

Finally, sometimes video urodynamic tests are employed. These use digital equipment like X-rays or ultrasound to obtain pictures and video during the bladder filling and emptying process for additional information.

If you're looking for relief from unexpected leaking and racing to the bathroom, call or click to book an appointment with Monroe OBGYN today and begin the steps toward reclaiming your life.

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