Frequently Asked Questions

– 50% of women under the age of 25, who have never been pregnant, will have noticed urinary leakage at some stage.
– 25% of women between the ages of 35 and 50 suffer embarrassing urinary loss.
– 50% of women over the age of 75 are affected by, and to some degree disabled by, the involuntary loss of urine.
– 50-60% of all nursing home residents in Australia have urinary incontinence.

You can arrange a visit to a Sydney Urodynamic Centre through your general practitioner or, if you are under the treatment of a gynaecologist or urologist, your specialist can organise your appointment. A referral will be necessary.

Following assessment, a confidential report including recommended treatment will be sent directly to your doctor who will then organise the management of your condition.

The only special preparation necessary is to attend the centre with a comfortably full bladder, so that you can pass urine into a special toilet soon after arrival.

In most cases, a single visit is all that is required. With an accurate diagnosis and the subsequent provision of recommended treatment, most people should find that their problems, if not totally solved, are markedly improved.

A detailed medical history is taken by the doctor. Any questions regarding the procedure may be asked at this time. A short physical examination is performed by the doctor.

A small instrument is introduced into the urethra (the opening of the bladder) to enable a clear view of the bladder to assess its condition.

A nurse will escort you into a room where you will be requested to change into a gown and empty your bladder into a special chamber. At this stage both flow rate and volume will be recorded on the machine.

Two small catheters will then be inserted into the bladder via the urethra (tube to bladder) and one into the rectum. The bladder is filled with fluid and will be viewed with x-ray or ultrasound.

At the same time all bladder functions are monitored by a computer. Although the procedure varies in time from patient to patient, it usually does not last longer than one hour.

Sometimes a second short visit is required.

Bladder retraining is a simple and effective method of treating many bladder symptoms. It is particularly helpful for urinary frequency (voiding more than 6 times a day), nocturia (getting up more than once a night), urgency (a sudden strong desire to void) and urge incontinence (urinary leakage occurring before the toilet can be reached). These problems are very common and cause considerable embarrassment and inconvenience to sufferers. They can lead to the loss of self-esteem and self-confidence. Bladder retraining is successful in most people and may avoid the need for medication or surgery.

The aim of bladder retraining is to increase the capacity of the bladder until it can hold the normal amount of urine (400-500mls) enabling you to void every three to four hours. This requires learning to suppress bladder contractions using a number of techniques. The program takes three months to completely alter the bladder function although some improvement may be noticed in a few weeks.

The pelvic floor is a muscular sling that supports the abdomino-pelvic organs, including the bladder in front, the uterus centrally and the lower bowel and rectum behind. Through the pelvic floor pass the tubular outlet structures of the urethra (the bladder outlet), the vagina (the front passage), and rectum (the back passage). The mechanisms which provide the control for these tubular structures are called sphincters, and these are highly specialised circular muscles formed from the pelvic floor.

The solution to these problems may be achieved relatively easily with proper diagnosis. Using recently developed equipment, doctors specifically trained in the techniques are able to accurately diagnose the cause of the problem and recommend a treatment plan. This is known as urodynamic assessment. Correct diagnosis by urodynamic assessment and subsequent treatment will result in significant improvement for most people.

Urodynamic assessment is a highly specialised method of making a scientifically accurate diagnosis of the cause of incontinence. A urodynamic recording system which measures all the important functions of the bladder is connected to a computer. This is used to measure, integrate and correlate urine flow rate, bladder capacity and muscular and nervous control. The assessment is relatively inexpensive, does not take long, does not require the use of drugs, and is painless.

At the Sydney Urodynamic Centre the cause of your bladder problem will be established.

Following assessment, a confidential report, including recommended treatment, will be sent directly to your doctor who will then organise the management of your condition.

The troublesome symptoms mentioned above are most often caused by an “unstable bladder” (overactive detrusor). In this condition the bladder contracts at inappropriate times, giving rise to frequency, urgency, etc. In most women no cause for the unstable bladder can be found but it may be related to imperfect toilet training as a child. These symptoms may also be caused by an oversensitive bladder. Both of these problems respond to bladder retraining.

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