OAB Diagnostic Tests

If your health care provider suspects overactive bladder, you may undergo some (or all) of these diagnostic exams.

  • Physical Exam Your doctor will look for any health issues that might be causing your OAB, including a check of your reflexes for possible nerve damage. You will also have a pelvic exam.
  • Urinalysis A urine sample is tested for infection, traces of blood and other abnormalities.
  • Cystometry This test will highlight if a muscle or nerve problem is causing your overactive bladder issues. A catheter is inserted to measure the pressure inside the bladder and its capacity to hold and release urine.
  • Ultrasound If the tests above show that you do, in fact, have overactive bladder, your doctor will likely order an ultrasound of your bladder, both filled and after voiding. This helps detect any possible anatomic anomalies of the bladder and urethra.
  • Uroflowmetry In this test, you urinate into a device that measures the volume and speed of flow. The test helps evaluate the health of your urinary tract and, again, is done after OAB has been established with prior tests.
  • Cystoscopy A thin tube with a tiny lens is inserted inside the urethra (the duct that carries urine from your body) and the bladder to detect any problems in the urinary tract.

After the Tests

Once test results are in (usually within several days), your doctor will suggest treatment choices that are most appropriate for you.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at Healthcommunities.com

Published: 17 Mar 2011

Last Modified: 06 Feb 2015