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What to Know About Uroflowmetry

Medically Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on November 01, 2021

Peeing helps your body get rid of waste. But sometimes there may be a blockage, leakage, infection, or other problem preventing urine from fully leaving your body.

Uroflowmetry is a diagnostic procedure used to measure the rate and flow of your pee over time to check for problems. The test is straightforward and non-invasive, which means your skin does not need to be pierced. Doctors use this test to learn about your urine flow rate, possible urinary irregularities, sphincter function, prostate problems, and bladder issues.

It is also called a uroflow test. 

Why Is Uroflowmetry Performed?

Doctors may recommend a uroflow test if you have a urinary blockage, slow urination, difficulty urinating, or other similar problems. The test results can also be used to see how your sphincter muscles and bladder are functioning. The sphincter muscles close around the opening of the bladder, preventing leakage of urine. 

The uroflow test also helps your doctor find any blockages in your urine flow rate and the amount of urine flowing out. ‌Blockage may be the result of an enlarged prostate. 

If you have frequent urinary tract infections or have a leakage of urine, your doctor may recommend this test to you. 

Which Conditions Can Be Diagnosed Using a Uroflowmetry Test?

Uroflowmetry is used to determine if there is obstruction to the normal flow of urine. Some medical conditions that can affect the flow of urine include:

  • Benign prostatic hypertrophy, a condition in which the prostate gland becomes so big that it blocks the urethra, making it difficult for urine to pass through 
  • Neurogenic bladder dysfunction, a condition in which you may have bladder issues due to an injury to the nervous system, such as a tumor in the spinal cord ‌

How Do I Prepare for Uroflowmetry?

‌You will go to the doctor's clinic or lab with a full bladder for your uroflow test. You will be asked to pee into a funnel-shaped device, or you may be instructed to pee into a special toilet used for testing. 

When you pee, don't try to change the flow or speed of your urine. The funnel will be attached to an electronic uroflowmetry, which will measure the quantity and speed of your urine. 

This uroflowmetry shows the amount of time it took for your bladder to empty completely.

If you move or strain while you are peeing, the results of the uroflowmetry may not be accurate.

If you are pregnant or suspect you may be, tell your doctor beforehand. Also, inform your doctor about any medicines, vitamins, supplements, or herbs you are taking. 

Show Sources

SOURCES: 

‌Columbia University Department of Urology: "Uroflowmetry."

‌John Hopkins Medicine: "Anatomy of the Urinary System."

‌Mayo Clinic: "Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)."

‌MidMichigan Health: "Uroflowmetry."

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