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Cystourethrogram

How It Feels

You will feel no discomfort from the X-rays. The X-ray table may feel hard and the room may be cool. You may find that the positions you need to hold are uncomfortable or painful.

You will feel a strong urge to urinate at times during the test. You may also find it somewhat uncomfortable when the catheter is inserted and left in place. You will have a feeling of fullness in your bladder and an urge to urinate when the contrast material is injected. You may be sore afterward. If so, soaking in a warm tub bath may help.

You may feel embarrassed at having to urinate in front of other people. This procedure is quite routine for the X-ray staff. If you find yourself feeling embarrassed, take deep, slow breaths and try to relax.

You may feel burning when you urinate.

Risks

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.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 29, 2012
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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