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A cystourethrogram does not usually cause problems. Occasionally this test may lead to a urinary tract infection. If the contrast material is injected with too much pressure, there is some chance of damage to the bladder or urethra.

There is always a slight chance of damage to cells or tissue from radiation, including the low levels of radiation used for this test. But the chance of damage from the X-rays is usually very low compared with the benefits of the test.

Some people may have an allergic reaction to the contrast material.

After the test

After the test, you may need to urinate frequently, with some burning during and after urination for a day or two. Drink lots of fluids to help minimize the burning and to prevent a urinary tract infection.

A pinkish tinge to the urine is common for several days after a cystourethrogram. But call your doctor immediately if:

  • Your urine remains red or you see blood clots after you have urinated several times.
  • You have not been able to urinate 8 hours after the test.
  • You have a fever, chills, or severe pain in your flank or abdomen. These may be signs of a kidney infection.
  • You have symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI). These symptoms include:
    • Pain or burning upon urination.
    • An urge to urinate frequently, but usually passing only small quantities of urine.
    • Dribbling or leakage of urine.
    • Urine that is reddish or pinkish, foul-smelling, or cloudy.
    • Pain or a feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen.


A cystourethrogram is an X-ray test that takes pictures of your bladder and urethra camera.gif while you are urinating. Some results may be available immediately after the cystourethrogram. Final results are usually available within 1 to 2 days.


The bladder appears normal.

Urine flows normally from the bladder.

The bladder empties all the way.

The contrast material flows evenly out of the bladder through a smooth-walled urethra.


Bladder stones, tumors, narrowing or pouches in the wall (diverticula) of the urethra or bladder are seen in the bladder.

If the test was done because of possible injury to the bladder, a tear is found in the bladder wall or urethra.

Urine flows backward from the bladder into the ureters (vesicoureteral reflux camera.gif).

Contrast material leaks from the bladder.

The bladder does not empty all the way.

The prostate gland camera.gif is enlarged.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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