Uroflowmetry is a test that measures the volume of urine released from the body, the speed with which it is released, and how long the release takes.
How the Test is Performed
You will urinate in a urinal or toilet fitted with a machine that has a measuring device.
You will be asked to begin urinating after the machine has started. When you finish, the machine will make a report for your health care provider.
How to Prepare for the Test
Your provider may ask you to temporarily stop taking medicines that can affect the test results.
Uroflowmetry is best done when you have a full bladder. DO NOT urinate for 2 hours before the test. Drink extra fluids so you will have plenty of urine for the test. The test is the most accurate if you urinate at least 5 ounces (150 milliliters) or more.
DO NOT place any toilet tissue in the test machine.
How the Test will Feel
The test involves normal urination, so you should not experience any discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed
This test is useful in evaluating the function of the urinary tract. In most cases, a person having this test will report urination that is too slow.
Normal values vary depending on age and sex. In men, urine flow declines with age. Women have less change with age.
- Ages 4 to 7 -- The average flow rate for both males and females is 10 mL/sec.
- Ages 8 to 13 -- The average flow rate for males is 12 mL/sec. The average flow rate for females is 15 mL/sec.
- Ages 14 to 45 -- The average flow rate for males is 21 mL/sec. The average flow rate for females is 18 mL/sec.
- Ages 46 to 65 -- The average flow rate for males is 12 mL/sec. The average flow rate for females is 18 mL/sec.
- Ages 66 to 80 -- The average flow rate for males is 9 mL/sec. The average flow rate for females is 18 mL/sec.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Results are compared with your symptoms and physical exam. A result that may need treatment in one person may not need treatment in another person.
Several circular muscles around the urethra normally regulate urine flow. If any of these muscles becomes weak or stops working, you may have an increase in urine flow or urinary incontinence.
If there is a bladder outlet obstruction or if the bladder muscle is weak, you may have a decrease in urine flow. The amount of urine that remains in your bladder after urinating can be measured with ultrasound.
Your provider should explain and discuss any abnormal results with you.
There are no risks with this test.
Nitti VW, Brucker BM. Urodynamic and video-urodynamic evaluation of the lower urinary tract. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 73.
Winters JC, Dmochowski RR, Goldman HB, et al. Urodynamic studies in adults: AUA/SUFU guideline. J Urol. 2012;188(6 Suppl):2464-2472. PMID: 23098783 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23098783.
Review Date 1/30/2017
Updated by: Jennifer Sobol, DO, urologist with the Michigan Institute of Urology, West Bloomfield, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.