A micturating cystourethrogram is a procedure allowing the urethra to be x-rayed using contrast dye passing from the bladder through the urethra.

The bladder is first filled with x-ray contrast dye by inserting a urinary catheter into the bladder through the urethra.

Urethrograms are done by a radiologist with a radiographer and sometimes a nurse present. Your images will be looked at by a radiologist who will provide a written report for your doctor. Sometimes, the radiologist will speak to you in person during the examination.

This procedure is available at the following Jones Radiology locations:


You will lie on your back on an X-ray table. The radiologist will carefully clean the genital area with a specific antiseptic wash. A sterile drape (a piece of cloth) is used to cover your groin and surrounding area.

A small amount of anaesthetic gel is applied to the urethral opening to minimise discomfort. A urinary catheter is then inserted in the tip of the urethra until it reaches the bladder. A small balloon is inflated to hold it in place. The bladder is filled with x-ray dye until you feel full. Once there is sufficient dye in the bladder, the urethral catheter is removed. The table will be raised by the radiographer until you are in a standing position. You will be handed a urine bottle that will allow you to urinate (void) while x-rays are taken. X-rays are taken as the dye passes out the bladder through the urethra. It is common to have some difficulty voiding on command. Our experienced and patient staff will support you as needed.

Risks / Side effects

Urethrograms are safe procedures. While there is a small risk of urinary tract infection, this is minimised by doing the procedure under sterile conditions and following strict infection control practices.

If x-ray contrast is administered, there is a small risk of an allergic reaction. A mild allergic reaction occurs in 1/1000 injections and includes a rash, hives or sneezing. More severe reactions such as difficulty breathing are less common. Severe life-threatening reactions are extremely rare (1 in 170,000).

Before your Scan

You will be asked to change into an examination gown for your safety and comfort and to make sure your clothing does not affect the images.

You can eat and drink before and after the procedure. If you are on any regular medication or have diabetes and are on insulin, take your usual medication and diet.

Please inform us if you are on medication to thin your blood (e.g. Warfarin, Aspirin or Clopidogrel), have an iodine allergy, or are pregnant.

Other Information

After the procedure, you will able to go to the toilet, freshen up with towels provided, and get changed back into your clothes.

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