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Uroflowmetry- An Overview

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Uroflowmetry is a simple, patient-friendly diagnostic procedure used to evaluate urine flow. This article provides brief information on the same.

Written by

Dr. Kavya

Published At August 29, 2022
Reviewed AtFebruary 20, 2023

Introduction

Uroflowmetry is a simple, patient-friendly diagnostic procedure used to evaluate urine flow. The urinary bladder is a muscular sac that helps store urine and is about the size and shape of a pear. The bladder helps store urine, which further helps control the passage of urine. The bladder can hold up to 400 mL to 600 mL of urine. However, these functions are sometimes affected, leading to blockade or disruption while passing urine. This test helps diagnose these conditions and provides a clear approach to treatment.

What Is Uroflowmetry?

Uroflowmetry is a diagnostic test done to check and measure the volume of urine released and the speed of the urine released, to check for associated problems. It helps to assess urinary tract function. It is also called a uroflow test.

Why Is the Test Done?

It is a diagnostic procedure done to evaluate certain problems such as:

  • People suffering from urinary blockage.

  • Difficulty in urination.

  • Slow urination.

  • To check for sphincter muscle function.

  • To check for bladder function.

  • Frequent urinary tract infections.

  • To check for an enlarged prostate.

What Are the Medical Conditions Diagnosed by This Test?

  • Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy: It is a benign condition with an enlargement of the bladder leading to the blockade of the urethra. The condition predominantly affects men above the age of 50. It impacts the urine stream, making it weak. Complications of this condition involve infections, bladder stones, and reduced kidney function.

  • Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction: It is also known as neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction. When there is any problem with the nervous system or any injury to the spinal cord, people suffering from neurogenic bladder dysfunction lose the coordination between the muscles and nerves acting on them.

  • Cancer of the prostate or the bladder.

Is It Safe to Perform the Test?

People are often worried about how the test will be performed. However, the procedure is simple, does not cause any discomfort, and does not hold any risks while performing.

How Is Uroflowmetry Done?

The individual is asked to visit the clinic with a full bladder and is preferably not to pass urine at least 2 hours before visiting the clinic. The individual is advised to intake fluids to keep the bladder full and not to empty the bladder just before visiting the clinic. In addition, the individual is advised to inform the healthcare provider about any underlying conditions and medications they are taking. The test does not involve hospital admissions and can be finished in a few hours. The procedure is performed in a private room using a flowmeter.t is a funnel-shaped device to which the individual is asked to pass urine. Before the individual performs the test, the instructions will be given beforehand to avoid confusion. The flowmeter will record the information while urine is being passed. The individual is advised to stay calm while urinating and not to stress or strain while passing, which may affect the speed of the urine flow. Females who are pregnant should inform the doctor priorly.

What Do the Test Results Mean?

Urine flow may differ depending on other physiological factors and does not always indicate an underlying condition. It depends on factors such as the sex of the person and the age of the person. Abnormal results may vary from person to person depending on the underlying condition that person may be associated with. The person with a similar test result may or may not require treatment. The health care provider will give further information on the reports and provide a detailed explanation based on your condition.

What to Do After the Test?

There is no definitive procedure after the test has been completed. However, the healthcare provider may instruct individuals with medications or any underlying condition.

What Are the Conditions Responsible for the Increase and Decrease in Urine Output?

Urinary incontinence: The condition in which a person suffers from leaky urine. It is caused due to an overactive bladder and is predominantly seen in older women. Involuntary leakage of urine due to the absence of bladder contraction resulting from increased abdominal pressure. This happens when the pelvic floor muscles, urethral sphincter, and fascial tissues fail to provide closure. When intra abdominal pressure exceeds urethral pressure, it leads to stress urinary incontinence.

Types of Urinary Incontinence:

  • Stress Incontinence: When pressure is applied to the bladder, there is urine leakage leading to stress incontinence.

  • Urge Incontinence: Sudden urge in need to urinate.

  • Overflow Incontinence: Leaking of urine in small amounts from a bladder that is always full.

  • Functional Incontinence: Usually found in adults who are elderly and have normal bladder control.

Certain Medications Cause Decreased Urine Output, Such As:

The weakening of cervical muscles around the urethra may lead to an increase in urine flow.

Decreased urine flow is seen when there is bladder outlet obstruction and when the bladder muscles become weak. Ultrasound helps in detecting how much urine is stored in the bladder.

What Other Tests Can Be Combined With Uroflowmetry?

The other tests involve:

  • Cystometry: This is a test done to look for bladder function. It measures the force of the bladder while voiding and the amount of urine in the bladder.

  • Cystography: It is an imaging test that helps in visualizing the bladder. It is used for evaluation conditions such as hydronephrosis (swelling in the kidney due to urine build-up), vesicoureteral reflux (backward flow of urine from the bladder towards the ureters), bladder polyps (benign or cancerous growths in the bladder lining), and bladder cancer.

  • Retrograde cystography: It is the detailed X-ray of the bladder.

  • Cystoscopy: It is carried out using a cystoscope. A cystoscope is a device having microscopic lenses. This device is inserted into the urinary bladder through the urethra.

These tests are sometimes performed along with uroflowmetry.

Conclusion:

Uroflowmetry is one of the most simple procedures used to diagnose problems associated with urine flow. Uroflowmetry is a diagnostic test done to check and measure the volume of urine released and the speed of the urine released to check for associated problems. It helps to assess urinary tract function. It involves procedures that do not require admission to the hospital or intense medical care, or invasive procedures. It is patient-friendly and provides quick results.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Is the Purpose of the Uroflowmetry Test?

A uroflowmetry test is used to evaluate the urine flow in a person through an effortless and patient-friendly diagnostic procedure. The test can measure and check a person's speed and volume of urine output and identify the associated problems. The test can also help check the urinary tract's normal functioning.

2.

How Do You Read Uroflowmetry Reports?

The uroflowmetry test reports give abnormal results if a person has any underlying conditions. If the test report shows normal results, a person may or may not need any medical intervention. The physician provides a detailed explanation of the reports and condition of a person and plans the treatment accordingly.

3.

How Long Does It Take for a Urology Flow Test?

The urology flow test usually takes half an hour to complete, but it varies from person to person. A urology flow test is based on how fast a person passes urine during the test, and sometimes the doctor may ask to repeat the test to get the exact results. The procedure can usually take 2 hours to 4 hours approximately or can be repeated after a few days.

4.

What Medications Cause Decreased Urine Flow?

Decreased urine flow can usually be caused in a person due to any underlying medical condition. However, certain medications can also reduce a person's urine output. These medications include antibiotics like Gentamycin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and antihypertensive drugs like ACE inhibitors (medicines used to treat high blood pressure).

5.

How Can a Person Stop Frequent Urination?

Frequent urination problems usually occur in older women due to an overactive bladder. But the condition can occur in any person causing frequent urination due to increased bladder contraction. The condition can be prevented by not drinking too much water, strengthening pelvic floor muscles, and consuming less alcohol and caffeine.

6.

How Can a Person Make the Bladder Healthy?

A person can make the bladder healthy by doing pelvic floor muscle exercises, emptying the bladder fully while urinating, and peeing in a relaxed position. Bladder muscle can become strong with maintaining proper body weight and exercising regularly. A high-fiber diet to avoid constipation can also reduce pressure on the bladder and keep it sound and healthy.

7.

How Many Times Is Normal to Urinate at Night?

During the night, a person usually does not pass much urine and can have uninterrupted sleep for six to eight hours. But sometimes, if a person urinates more than twice at night, they must consult a physician. This is because frequent urination at night can also be related to any associated health problems in a person.

8.

Is It Normal to Pee Every Hour?

Urine output varies from person to person depending on how much water they drink and how well their kidney functions. A person urinating six to eight times a day is usually considered normal. However, a person should consult a doctor in case of excessive or decreased urine output.

9.

How Long After Drinking Water Does a Person Urinate?

After drinking enough water that causes bladder fullness or, closer to that, a person urines within 15 minutes. However, if a person is dehydrated or has an empty bladder, it can take almost 7 hours to 8 hours before a person needs to urinate. A person's hydrated body must urinate 15 minutes to 20 minutes after drinking water.

10.

When Should You Stop Drinking Water Before Bed?

Drinking too much water before going to bed can cause frequent urination at night and disturbed sleep. Therefore, a person should drink water for at least two hours before bed. Also, a person must drink enough water daily to keep the body hydrated.

11.

What Happens When You Drink Water on an Empty Stomach?

Drinking water on an empty stomach helps remove toxins from the body. Water also helps in increasing metabolism and managing body weight. Drinking water on an empty stomach can also prevent kidney stones and headaches. In addition, water also improves skin health and hair.

12.

What Happens if a Person Holds Urine for Too Long?

Holding urine for too long can cause urine retention problems in a person, which can be very dangerous. It can lead to kidney infections and diseases such as neurogenic bladder or enlarged prostate. In addition, holding urine during pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of urinary tract infection.
Dr. Samer Sameer Juma Ali Altawil
Dr. Samer Sameer Juma Ali Altawil

Urology

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urinalysis
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