Urodynamics Procedure

What is a full urodynamics procedure?

A full urodynamics procedure is a series of tests done to find out how well your child's bladder is working. It measures:

  • what is happening to your child's bladder as it is filling
  • how much urine the bladder can hold
  • bladder sensation (feeling)
  • changes in bladder pressure
  • how much stretch (contractility) the bladder has while filling
Urinary System (Female)
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The information on this page will help you and your child get ready for the procedure. After reading it, please explain it to your child, using words she can understand. If you have questions, please speak with your child's doctor or the urodynamics nurse.

Your child's appointment

Please arrive 15 minutes before the time of your child's appointment. The procedure will take about 1.5 hours (90 minutes).

Helping your child get ready for the test

The test will be easier and less uncomfortable if your child is relaxed. Before you come to the hospital, explain to your child what will happen. You can help practice relaxing by having your child breathe in and out with slow, deep breaths.

To make your child feel more comfortable during the test, please bring her favourite toy, a movie, or books. Babies can have a pacifier or a bottle during the test.

A child life specialist can help your child get ready for the test by teaching your child to relax and distract herself. If you and your child would like to meet with a child life specialist, please ask.

Before the test

Your child can eat and drink as usual before the test.

If possible, please encourage your child to have a bowel movement on the morning of the test. If your child follows a bowel routine, please do this the evening before or the morning of the test.

If your child has a heart condition, please check with your family doctor to see if your child will need antibiotics before the test. If antibiotics are needed, your family doctor will write a prescription.

Please do not use lotion on your child's skin on the day of the test.

Urinary tract infection

Please be aware that the test will not be done if your child has a urinary tract infection and is showing symptoms. Signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:

  • burning or stinging with urination
  • foul-smelling or cloudy urine
  • abdominal (belly) pain
  • fever
  • blood in the urine

If your child has any of these symptoms, please go to your family doctor to check for a urinary tract infection. If your child has an infection, please call to reschedule your appointment.

What happens during the test

During the procedure, a nurse will put a small tube called a urinary catheter into your child's urethra (urinary passage). Your child's bladder will be filled with water through this tube. This tube also monitors pressure in the bladder.

Another small tube will be put into your child's rectum. This measures rectal pressure during the test. The rectum pushes on the bladder and this can affect bladder pressure.

Having these tubes inserted can be uncomfortable, but it should not hurt. The nurses are very experienced and will help your child relax during the test.

Your child will also have stickers called electrodes gently stuck to the buttocks and hip. The electrodes let us assess your child's pelvic floor muscles when the bladder is being filled.

During the test, your child may have a feeling of fullness or pressure, similar to what she would feel before urinating with a full bladder. There may be some discomfort when the urinary and rectal tubes are put in and taken out. Your child may have the urge to urinate or have a bowel movement. These feelings will be less if your child is more relaxed. You or the child life specialist can help your child with the relaxation strategies you practiced.


Some children may need mild sedation to help them relax and have a positive experience during the test.

After the test

Your child may feel stinging or burning when urinating the first few times after the test. Encourage your child to drink a lot after the test. If the discomfort lasts for more than 48 hours (2 days) or your child develops a fever, contact your family doctor.

Key points

  • A full urodynamics procedure tests how well your child's bladder is working.
  • The test will be less uncomfortable if your child is relaxed. To make sure your child is comfortable during the test, tell her what to expect and help her practice relaxation exercises.
  • If your child has a urinary tract infection, you will need to reschedule the test.
  • If your child feels stinging or burning for more than 48 hours after the test or your child develops a fever, contact your family doctor.

Cathy Daniels, RN, MS, ACNP
Angela Buffett, RN, MN


At SickKids:

If your child has been to the hospital before, go directly to 5D. Please check in with the receptionist at the front desk on 5D to register.

If this is your first visit to the hospital, please check in at the registration desk on the main floor before coming to 5D. When you arrive on 5D, you will need to check in with the receptionist at the front desk.

If you have questions or concerns about this test, please contact the urodynamics nurse by calling the urology clinic at 416-813-6661.