Children who are experiencing an interrupted or intermittent flow of urine might be suffering from voiding dysfunction. Comer Children's Voiding Dysfunction Clinic offers comprehensive evaluation of voiding dysfunction using state-of the art technology and the latest treatment options, such as urodynamic testing and biofeedback therapy. With the help of our pediatric urologist and dedicated nurse specialist, we are committed to identifying any voiding dysfunction issues your child may have and working with your to best manage their condition.
What is voiding dysfunction?
Voiding dysfunction describes any irregularities your child may have in filling and/or emptying their bladder that does not include obstruction, neurologic, anatomic abnormalities in the urinary tract.
When a child voids urine normally, the bladder will contract and the sphincter relaxes to allow urine to flow. For a child with voiding dysfunction, the sphincter does not relax to allow urine to flow even though the bladder is contracting to signal that urination should occur.
What are common symptoms of voiding dysfunction in children?
If you suspect that your child may have issues emptying their bladder, there are some common signs and symptoms to watch out for, including:
- Daytime frequency/urgency: the bladder is full and contracting without the child intending to urinate.
- Tendency to hold urine for long periods of time
- Uncontrolled urine leakage
- Difficulty initiating flow of urine
- Straining (applying abdominal pressure) to initiate urination
- Weak or intermittent urine stream
If your child has one or more of these symptoms, please consult with your physician for further evaluation.
How is voiding dysfunction diagnosed?
If you or your child's physician thinks that he or she may have voiding dysfunction, our experts will use advanced diagnostic technology to assess any potential condition, but first, we will complete a detailed evaluation and physical exam.
In order to properly identify your child's specific treatment needs, we might need to perform additional imaging, such as an ultrasound or an x-ray, or in some cases, further testing which could include a voiding cystourethogram (VCUG) or urodynamics. VCUG is a minimally invasive test that enables your physician to see your child's urinary tract and bladder to better analyze any issues. Urodynamics are tests that can measure how well the bladder and sphincter are performing. Should your child need any of these additional tests, our team will thoroughly explain what to expect and answer any questions you may have.
Treatment Options for Voiding Dysfunction
Our experienced team will work with your child to overcome voiding dysfunction and enable him/her to retrain their body to urinate properly.
Biofeedback therapy is ideal when your child has inadequate pelvic floor relaxation during urination, as it will teach him/her to voluntarily relax their muscles when urinating.
What to Expect During Biofeedback Therapy
During an hour-long session, we will work with your child to practice relaxing their pelvic floor. By placing EMG electrodes on your child's abdomen and perineum, he or she can visualize their muscle activity and learn to control them by playing interactive computer games that require them to contract and relax their pelvic floor.
Typically, your child can learn proper muscle relaxation in six to eight sessions, with a standard schedule of once a week for the first three weeks and progressing to one session every other week after that.
What Should We Do At Home?
In order to have the best results from the program, we will give your child exercises he/she should practice at home every day. As a parent, encouraging your son or daughter to complete all the components of their elimination plan, and keeping a symptom log will give them the best chance for success. At each session, our staff will check your symptom log, exercise progression and urination studies to evaluate your child's progress.