What to Expect when your having a ‘Bladder Function Test’

 Un-related to the World known and relied apon Series, ‘ What to Expect when your Expecting’. A new Series, Following women and moms in and out of various Doctors’ office’s, and not just to and from Labor and Delivery.

Urodynamic Testing

  Most urodynamic tests are to check how well your bladder can hold and empty urine.  Hense the name, “Bladder Function Test”. It sounds like exactly what it is. 

 In the days Leading up to this appointment, if you’ve gotten lucky enough to need one, you’ll be tracking your drinking habits, and your urination patterns, on a 10 paged, stapled together, “Journal”.

7 am - Drank 14 oz coffee - no leaking - no urgency - drinking fluids
740 am- Drank 3 oz water- 0 leaking- 0 urgency - drinking fluids
8am- peed - emptied bladder - 0 leaking - Urgency noted - urination w/out leakage w/ urgency
812am- peed - dripping - 1 leaking - 0 urgency - Jumping on trampoline, no urgency noted but slight leak 
10am- Drank 24oz water - no leaking no urgency - drinking fluids
1145am- Drank 30 oz Juice - no leaking no urgency- Drinking Fluids

Your journal will start to look like that of the example I made above. Once you’ve completed, you should have at least 3-6 full pages ( 3-4 whole days), of your drinking, and bathroom habits. Fun!!

 On the day of your appointment, 1 hour before arriving, your told to chug 32oz of water in a short time frame. Then, nothing more to drink for 1 hour. 

   First, your nurse will come in and make sure your ready to begin testing. They’ll hand you  2 mini dixie cups. In one, the smallest mouthful of water, and in the other 1, one time antibiotic treatment, known as Bactrim and 2 AZO urinary Tract Pain Relief pills that will 100% have you peeing shades of orange and yellow by nightfall. 

 Then, you’ll get undressed, hop up onto the table, lay back, SCOOT… scoot down a bit more, Scoot a little bit more, and finally, you’ll give em your best frog legs! 

  Once the nurse, and testing Doctor / NP come in and catheterize you, they’ll start by sticking sensors all over your crotch area, your butt cheeks, and some other below-the-waist areas that are unidentifyable just by touch. These sensors are used to pick up muscle and nerve contractions, or lack thereof. This test will confirm whether or not the bladder and pelvic floor muscles are coordinating correctly.

 

 

 

  Once you’ve got a dozen or so, very strategically placed sensors, and wires coming out of your hoo-hA and in sticking out from between your legs, ( or maybe at this point someone has found a better way of doing this), your NP will then tell you that the remainder of the testing, will be done standing up.  After you’ve, very strategically, and with the help of the extremely good looking male nurse, gotten off of the patient table, you’ll be asking to empty your bladder into this toilet type chair, as soon as the room is empty. From the hallway, the Dr., Nurse & or NP, will be watching a screen thats somehow attached to the chair toilet, measuring to see how well you empty your bladder and at which consistensy and pace in a natural setting.

 

  Now, step 1 of the testing is complete, and we’re on to the not so natural stuff.

  Your Doctor will then have you standing up again, and will begin fueling your bladder up with warm water, or Saline, stopping every so often to measure while you cough,  force a sneeze, and Bear down on that Bum like your not having a baby.  This may feel slightly dangerous to some, but they will reassure you that your in the best place for emergencies to happen.

   Fill, Cough, Cough, Cough, Bare Down, Stop. 

 During this 30-60 minute ordeal, you’ll be asked to tell your doctor when you first feel the sensation to have to urinate, when you feel as though you could hold your urine for 30 minutes, for 15 minutes, for 5 minutes, and lastly, when your bladder is so full that you absolutely can no longer hold it without actually peeing all over the place.

   Once you reach the latter, your to sit down on the toilet chair, and without pushing, or thinking or really doing much at all, let it all out. Pee, without peeing.  ( wellp I guess I could’ve held on for longer).

   You’d want to make sure to be completely sure about this decision. One woman said she never felt like she had to pee at all!!!  Only for a brief moment after the initial emptying of her bladder, did she feel the sensation or urge to have to pee again, thoughout the entire testing!!!

    Most women aren’t sure what to expect, what they should be feeling as their bladder unnaturally and increasingly fills with fluid at a not so normal rate.

  Out of the 10-15 women with a prolapsed organ that I spoke with regarding their appointments, only two of them were not having incontinence with prolapse, a rare occurance.

  Both patients were told by their Doctors that they needed a handful of tests to produce any type of answer. Bladder function testing, UItrasounds, a hysteroscopy. Both were looking for a problem, a kink in the urethra.  Who would’ve thought that not having incontinence could be a problem!?

  Urodynamic tests focus on how well your bladder can hold and empty urine, and whether or not your bladder is contracting when it is supposed to.  

  The testing takes roughly 1 hour start to finish and is generally pretty painless. The most uncomfortable part of the testing I think, is akwardly and precisely trying to stand up from the lying position with all the sensors taped and attached in between my legs, that or anything to do with the catheters. For some, it is the moment the catheter goes in and there is no relief until the moment it is removed, for others, pain or discomfort doesn’t start until the catheter is removed.

    Everyone has a different experience, a different body, different reactions, different feelings, a different tolerance, different Doctors, etc. So my experience will be different from yours, however I hope I helped ease the fear, or to just put your mind to rest by sharing. 

    Being a women can be scary. Being a mom is usually scary. But nothing is scarier than having to take care of yourself when you’ve forgotten to for so long. 

 

 

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