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Voiding Dysfunction

Voiding dysfunction also known as bladder dysfunction is a result of a defect in the filling or emptying of the bladder. It may be because of inappropriate activity of the muscles of the bladder wall or the pelvic floor. These sphincter muscles control the flow of urine out of the body. Neurological diseases and certain medications also lead to voiding dysfunction.

The symptoms of voiding dysfunction are a sudden, strong urge to urinate, need to void more often, incontinence, difficulty while passing urine, incomplete emptying of bladder, and recurrent urinary tract infections.

Your doctor will ask about your general health and also perform a physical examination which includes pelvic, rectal examination and neuro-urological exam. Some of the diagnostic tests your doctor may advise include:

  • Blood and urine tests

  • Pelvic floor electromyography

  • Fluoroscopic imaging of the urinary tract

  • Ultrasound or computerized tomography (CT scan) of the upper urinary tract


Your doctor may suggest the following treatment options:

  • Behavioral therapy: This involves changing your habits and practicing pelvic floor exercises, timed bladder emptying, bladder training and biofeedback to reduce incontinence

  • Oral medications: Certain medicines may be prescribed to relax the bladder or tighten the sphincter muscles

  • Pelvic floor electrical stimulation: This is done by applying painless electrical pulses through a small probe to the vagina or rectum. It increases the tone of the pelvic floor muscles

  • Injection therapy

  • Surgical treatment (includes placement of artificial urinary sphincters and male and female slings)

  • Psychotherapy


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© Dr. Jimmy Lam Urological & Laparoscopic Surgeon North Adelaide SA