Pelvic Floor Disorders Program
Women's Medicine Collaborative

Diagnostic Tests

These are some of the tests your physician may use in diagnosing your pelvic floor disorder.

  • Anal manometry: Using a thin, flexible tube, your health care provider will test how well the muscles and nerves around your anus and rectum are working.
  • Bladder wall biopsy:A test in which tissue samples are removed from the bladder (with a needle or during surgery) and examined to see if cancer or other abnormal cells are present.
  • Cystoscopy: For this test your health care provider threads a thin, flexible tube and viewing device into the urethra to examine the urinary tract. It checks for structural changes or blockages, such as tumors or stones.
  • Cystourethrogram: An X-ray of the bladder taken while the woman is urinating and with the bladder and urethra filled with contrast dye. It delineates the bladder and reveals any blockages.
  • Defecography:With this kind of X-ray, your physician will learn how much stool you can store in your rectum and how your body handles stool.
  • CAT scans and MRIs:These are used to detect structural problems and masses.
  • Proctosigmoidoscopy: Using a flexible tube, your healthcare provider examines your rectum and lower intestine for evidence of scars and/or inflammation.
  • Upper endoscopy: Also called an EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy), this test uses a thin tube with a camera to examine the inside or lining of your esophagus, stomach, and the top part of your small intestine (duodenum).
  • Urodynamics: This is a series of tests that evaluate how well your bladder, urinary sphincter, and urethra function. The tests focus on how effectively your bladder fills and empties.
  • Urinalysis: Testing to look for certain cells and chemicals in the urine. This includes red and white blood cells, bacteria, or an excess of protein. A sample of bacteria may be grown in the lab to determine what specific kind(s) of bacteria is/are present.

Learn more about treatment for pelvic floor disorders at Lifespan