Uroflowmetry

Written by Amber Erickson Gabbey | Published on August 7, 2012
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD

What is a Uroflowmetry Test?

Uroflowmetry, also called uroflow, is used to test the amount and speed of urination. The test can help your doctor to identify the cause if you suffer from slow urination or have trouble urinating.

Purpose of a Uroflowmetry Test

Most often, your doctor will recommend an uroflowmetry test if you report symptoms of slow urination or urination difficulties. The test might also be used to determine how well your urinary tract is functioning.

By measuring the average and maximum rates of your urine flow, the test can estimate the severity of any blockage or obstruction. It can also help identify other urinary problems, such as a weak bladder or enlarged prostate.

Preparing for a Uroflowmetry Test

The uroflowmetry test is performed through the collection of a urine sample. It may seem awkward or uncomfortable, but you should not experience any physical discomfort during the test.

Be sure to arrive at your doctor’s office with a full bladder. Ideally, you should refrain from urinating for several hours before the appointment and drink plenty of liquids to ensure you have enough urine for the test.

Uroflowmetry Test Process

Unlike traditional urine tests where you urinate into a cup, the uroflowmetry test requires you to urinate into a funnel-shaped device or into a special toilet. It’s important that you don’t put any toilet tissue on or in the toilet or device.

It is best to urinate as you normally would, without attempting to manipulate the speed or flow in any way. An electronic uroflowmeter hooked up to the funnel or toilet measures the speed and quantity of urination. You must refrain from urinating until the machine is turned on.

Once you are finished urinating, the machine will report your results. Your doctor will then discuss the findings with you.

Understanding the Results of Your Uroflowmetry Test

A normal urine flow varies from 10 milliliters a second to 21 milliliters a second, depending on a person’s age and sex. Women tend to have less fluctuation with age and average around 15 to 18 milliliters a second.

A decrease in urine flow may suggest:

  • blockages in the urethra
  • weak bladder muscles

Alternatively, an increase in flow could signal weakness in the muscles that help control the flow of urine. An increase in urination could also be a sign of urinary incontinence.

After testing the flow of urine, your individual situation and symptoms will be taken into account before developing a treatment plan. Two people with the same test results could be treated very differently depending on their needs.

Your doctor is the best person to discuss the results of your test with, and he or she can help you determine whether treatment is recommended and what options you have.

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