Leaflet number: 154
Expiry date: December 2017

Printable version Printable version


What is an urethrogram?

This is an X-ray test to take pictures of the water pipe (urethra) that passes through the penis and leads to the bladder.

What does it involve?

The purpose of this test is to introduce a dye containing iodine into the bladder to get pictures of the urethra.

To do this, we place a catheter into the penis. Dye is injected through the catheter whilst pictures are taken. During the test we may ask you to try and pass water to get some further pictures.

How long will it take?

The test usually takes 15 minutes.

What preparations are needed?

No special preparations are needed although you are advised to empty your bladder when you arrive at the hospital.

What about my general health?

Please contact the X-Ray Department on 01271 322435, Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 5 pm, for advice if you –

  • think you may be allergic to iodine or any of the X-ray dyes used,
  • have an artificial heart valve, or have been advised that you need antibiotics before routine dental work (endocarditis prophylaxis). You may need an antibiotic injection before the test. One of the antibiotics we use is Penicillin. If you are allergic to Penicillin, please tell us when you telephone.
  • have had an operation on the urethra within the last 2 weeks and/or have an offensive urethral discharge.

Are there any side effects?

The test may be a little uncomfortable, but we would not normally expect you to experience any side effects. Occasionally after the test, you may have some discomfort on passing urine. Very occasionally there is a little bleeding from the urethra.

Possible complications

Occasionally some people have an allergic reaction to the dye used during the test. We have facilities in the department and the ward to deal with this, if it happens.

Very occasionally an infection can occur after the test. Please contact your GP if you have any of the following after you get home –

  • High temperature
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Shivering
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Bleeding that is causing you concern

Further information

If you have any further questions or concerns about your urethrogram, please contact X-Ray Department on 01271 322435 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.


Posted in Patient Information Leaflets, X-ray/scan and tagged , .

Last updated: March 29, 2016