So, I just got back from the urologist, and I've been scheduled for urodynamics testing next week. From what I've read here, I know some of you have had experience with this. I'm just curious as to your experiences with this. How was it? Was it painful? Uncomfortable? The doctor explained a bit about it to me, that they insert a catheter and have electrodes and fill your bladder. Apparently, I have to urinate in front of a technician. I told the doctor I have a hard enough time going by myself, so this will be interesting! Any tips or advice?
My problem isn't incontinence, but rather that I have a hard time going. When I was having the most difficulty, a couple of months ago, it literally took me an HOUR to urinate in the morning! I had begun to wonder how long I would try to go before I would head to the ER to get cathed. It was really irritating, literally and figuratively. Now, a couple of months later, as is typical RRMS fashion, it has gotten better, but I do still have some hesitation going first thing in the morning. I would have the urge to go (like my bladder was full it was uncomfortable, and I had the urges that my bladder was contracting) but yet I couldn't "relax" enough to go. Or even if I could manage to go, sometimes the stream would start and stop, like the muscles down there were spasming. Very annoying, and uncomfortable.
I was diagnosed with MS in Jan of 2009, was first put on Betaseron, but after having several relapses in as many months, I was switched to Copaxone in August. I first had this problem right about that time (so Copaxone didn't have a chance to work yet) but it got noticeably worse in February of this year.
Any help/advice/tips/commiseration??? :-) would be great! Thanks!
I just had the urodynamics test done, and it wasn't so bad. I didn't have to urinate in front of a technician. She left the room, until I was done, but I have heard of other people who have had technicians still in the room.
They will have you show up for your appointment with a full bladder. My nurse suggested that you might want to show up extra early for your appointment, and drink your fluids then, rather than having that "gotta go feeling" while driving (if you experience urgency).
The first thing that happens is, you will void in a chair that collects your urine. It measures how fast, and how much. Then they insert a catheter to remove anything that didn't come out. This will find out if you are retaining. All the other test are to see how much your bladder can hold before you get that "gotta go feeling" (they will ask you questions the whole entire time). They will have you cough and bare down to test for stress incontinence, to see if you have any loss of urine. The electrodes (EMG) are attached to your bum, to see how your muscles react and if they tighten when they are suppose to. They will also insert one in your vagina or rectum, to test your pelvic floor.
I have a lot of bladder spasm, and did during the whole test. After the test was over, for days I had intermittent troubles with this. My bladder was not happy. The test results revealed that I had stress incontinence, plus I do believe I have urge incontinence which my doctor really didn't touch base on too much. I'm going to have surgery next week, because I have a bladder prolapse that might help the stress incontinence.
It's a little uncomfortable, but it wasn't that bad of a test to me. But if you do have troubles with bladder spasms, make sure you have your muscle relaxant on hand (Baclofen, Zanaflex, etc..) to help you through it..just in case you don't have a happy bladder like I did.
Slightlybroken has given you a good idea of how urodynamics testing works. It's really not bad at all. Uncomfortable at worst, certainly not painful. They will explain each part as it's done, so don't worry about understanding everything in advance.
It's not a good idea, though, to take any anti-spasm meds before the testing. They need to be able to tell what's going on when your bladder is left to its own devices. If you are having trouble emptying, this can turn into a serious problem, because 'old' urine is ripe for infection. So I'm glad you're having the testing, which is the first step in managing it.
Let us know how things go. There are quite a few of us here who've been through that, and have survived very well. :o)
Thanks for the info! The doctor said it wasn't painful, but I just don't like the idea of a catheter up there! Oh, well. The doctor said that the technician was also going to show me how to self cath, in case the need arises. I haven't gotten to that point yet, but who knows with MS.
It kind of ***** this is all going on around my birthday. The appointment next week is the day before my birthday. At least it isn't ON my birthday!
Anyways, thanks for responding. Hopefully all will go well.
I know what you mean about your b-day coming up..mines on the 24th...happy b-day if I'm not on. It's a lot to deal with..but like you said at least it's not on your b-day.
I probably should have clarified my response...I meant to say if you have problems with bladder spasm..make sure you take something after the test. I wish I would have known about not taking meds before the test. I took mine, and I probably shouldn't. Ess really knows her stuff.
Interesting. I've never had urodynamics testing but I went back to a urogyn I saw about 5 years ago for a different problem. My problem now is increasing stress incontinence and urge incontinence, which I'm told are 2 different problems with 2 different treatments. I am in limbo, but being closely followed. I have several (7-8)lesions in the brain, and I just had my first spine MRI a couple weeks ago that was totally clear. She seemed very interested/concerned about the neuro sx, and has ordered formal urodynamics testing next month. Thanks for the info.
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