Advanced Diagnostics

Lifestages performs a number of advanced diagnostic tests for bladder and pelvic health conditions. For your convenience, the short video below presents a clearly labeled image of a woman’s normal pelvic anatomy.

Anorectal Manometry (ARM)

Anorectal Manometry is a diagnostic test performed to evaluate the rectum for strength and control. It assists with the evaluation of fecal (stool) urgency and incontinence. This procedure is performed in the office with no anesthesia needed, and our patients are able to drive themselves to and from their appointment.


Cystoscopy is a diagnostic test (performed in our office) where a camera is passed through the urethra and into the bladder. This test lets us visualize the urethra, bladder and ureteral openings for abnormalities, defects or lesions, and is viewed on a screen that the patient is able to watch during the procedure. The cystoscopy is also able to evaluate how well a patient empties her bladder during this test with minimal to no discomfort. No anesthesia is needed, and our patients are able to drive themselves to and from the appointment. This is also performed during most pelvic floor surgical procedures to assess these organs during and at the end of the procedure for any abnormalities.


Hydrodistension is expanding the bladder with sterile water while performing a cystoscopy in the operating room under general anesthesia. This is performed to treat certain overactive bladder symptoms and the patient is able to leave a few hours after the procedure. This is a minimally invasive procedure with careful measurement of bladder pressure. The patient needs transportation to and from the procedure.

Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

IVP is a diagnostic X-ray performed of the kidneys, ureters and bladder with dye given in an IV that shows up on the X-ray. This helps to show the anatomy of the renal collecting system as the dye goes through the blood and is filtered through the kidneys and collects into the bladder. This can help to diagnose certain abnormalities of the kidneys, ureters and bladder.

Urodynamic Testing

A diagnostic test performed by a certified technician to evaluate how your bladder and urethra are functioning – including how well your bladder fills with, stores and empties urine (cystometry), the rate of urine flow (uroflowmetry) and how well your urethra closes (urethral pressure study). The technician will also assess the strength and function of the muscles that control urination (electromyography and pressure flow study). Urodynamic testing is performed in a private exam room in the Lifestages office. No sedation or medication is required. You are able to drive yourself to and from the appointment. The tests take about 45 minutes. Your physician will interpret the results.