Patient Information



What is a cystometrogram?

This is a test which helps us to understand how well your bladder is functioning. It is used to measure how much urine the bladder can hold and how full it is when you have the urge to go.

It involves filling the bladder through a catheter and measuring the pressures in the bladder.

Is there an alternative to this procedure?

If you do not want to have this procedure, we would have to rely on your own description of your symptoms.

What do I have to do before the procedure?

  • It is essential that you complete the Bladder Diary for three days and nights before your appointment. If you do not complete the diary, your test will need to be rescheduled.
  • Try to drink 2 pints of water (or dilute, non-caffeinated liquid) an hour before your appointment. This is so that you have a full bladder when you arrive. If this is difficult because you cannot hold your urine, come to the department an hour early and drink from the water fountain here. This is to try and keep your bladder as full as possible.
  • You may eat and drink as normal before the procedure.

What does the procedure involve?

  • The procedure is done in an outpatient clinic.
  • Allow 1.5 hours for the appointment.
  • Firstly, you will be asked to empty your bladder into a flowmeter (shown in the photo). This is a special toilet that records the rate and amount of urine. It helps us to measure how well your bladder is working.
  • A specially trained health practitioner will then insert a catheter (small hollow tube) into your urethra (water pipe) and also your rectum (back passage).
  • An anaesthetic is not usually needed. But we will insert a small amount of lubricating gel to ease any mild discomfort.
  • Your bladder will be filled with sterile water via a pump. The catheters are connected to a computer which receives information as your bladder fills.
  • As your bladder fills, we will ask you to cough so that we can assess any leakage.
  • When your bladder is full, we will ask you to pass urine into the flowmeter again.
  • We will then scan your bladder to check if it is empty.

Note, there are no childcare facilities in the department.

What happens after the procedure?

drawing of a glass of water

Once the procedure is complete, you may leave the hospital and return to your normal activities straight away.

During the 24 hours after the test, try to drink 2 to 3 litres of water or non-alcoholic fluids. This is to reduce the risk of a urine infection.

Within a few weeks of the procedure, we will send you an appointment to discuss your results with a doctor.

What are the side effects of this procedure?


  • Mild burning when you pass urine for a short period afterwards.


  • Urinary infection, requiring treatment with antibiotics.


  • Inability to pass urine afterwards. This might require a temporary catheter (small hollow tube used to drain your urine), or learning how to insert a catheter yourself. This should only last about 1 week.

What else should I look out for?

Contact your GP if you develop a fever, bleeding or pain whilst passing urine.

Go to your nearest Emergency Department (A&E) if you become unable to pass urine at all.


Pregnant women should not have a cystometrogram. If there is a possibility you could be pregnant, contact the Urology department before your appointment.

Who should I contact for more information?

  • Specialist urology nurses in the Urodynamics Team.
  • Your urology consultant when you see them next.
  • Clinical nurse specialist in Urology Oncology if you have cancer and would like further information regarding this.
Cystometrogram - Kingston Hospital Download PDF


Urodynamics Team (Monday to Thursday, 8am to 5pm; Friday 8am to noon) 020 8934 3038
Clinical nurse specialist in Urology Oncology 020 8934 2729

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