Reasons, Preparation & Procedure For Conducting a Cystometry

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Bladder conditions are a very common occurrence and are usually caused by the kinds of food and liquids that a person consumes. A cystometry test is one medical test in a series that are focused on identifying if the bladder is in working condition or not. The bladder is a muscular, balloon shaped organ that is located in the pelvic region of the body and serves to collect and store the urine from the kidneys until it has reached a certain capacity, after which the urine is released through the urethra.

The bladder will expand in size while it continuous to fill up and contract when the urine has been released. A person will also experience the urge to urinate while the bladder continues to fill, until it reaches a sensation of urgency when the bladder is completely full. During flow cysometry, the bladder is filled with either water or gas in order to measure the bladders ability to hold or release the water or gas. A small needle or pad will also be placed near the anus to measure the muscle functionality of the area while a catheter will also be placed in the rectum to measure the pressure generated during the filling of the bladder.

Reasons for Cystometry

Flow cystometry tests are required for a number of reasons. Cystometry tests are conducted to identify the causes of the inability of the bladder to hold urine – a problem that leads to medical conditions such as bed wetting, leakage urination as well as the nagging feeling that you have to urinate very frequently. Cystometry tests are also used to help measure the amount of urine stored in your bladder as well as the amount of urine that remains in your bladder after urination.


When preparing for your cystometry test, you need to remove any items of clothing or jewelry and wear a gown. Do not worry too much about how full your bladder is when you go in for the test as you are usually asked to empty your bladder naturally without any added pressure or stress.


When the cystometry test commences, you will be asked to urinate into a toilet like machine known as a “uroflowmeter” that measures the amount of urine passed as well as the duration taken to pass the urine. You will then be asked to lie on your back on an examining table and a catheter will be inserted into the bladder. This will be used to drain and measure any urine residue still in the bladder. Another catheter that is attached to a cystometer is then used to fill your bladder with some sterile water to measure how much capacity your bladder has and you will be asked to inform the doctor of any feeling of warmth, bladder fullness or an urge to urinate. The procedure is carried out a number of times until the doctor is satisfied with the readings and can then decide on the best treatment options for the problems you face.