Urogenital and Bowel »


Core Manager and Contact:
Charles Hubscher, PhD


April Herrity, DC, PhD
Assistant Professor

Erin Wyles

Comprehensive Care
  • The Urogenital & Bowel Research Core provides comprehensive care for spinal cord injured individuals with symptoms related to bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction. Employing a multi-disciplinary team approach with experts in neurology, gastroenterology, neurosurgery, and rehabilitative services, we aim to provide optimal clinical care for our research participants.
Objective Outcomes
  • Using our core laboratory equipment, we are able to obtain objective measurements of urogenital and bowel functions that are essential in helping us better understand and improve dysfunction in these areas.

Procedures for Assessing Bladder Function

  • Bladder Diary – documenting symptoms in a bladder diary  provides insight into day-to-day bladder management.
  • Uroflowmetry – is a test that measures and monitors the pattern of flow of urine outflow during urination and can determine if there is any obstruction.
  • Cystometrogram (CMG) – is a test that assesses bladder and abdominal muscles behavior while urine is stored and while urine is passed. The test includes a measurement of bladder pressure.
  • Electromyography (EMG) – is a measurement of muscle activity during the CMG and is used to distinguish between coordinated and uncoordinated contractions of the bladder smooth muscle and upper sphincter during voiding.
  • Bladder and Kidney Ultrasound (US) – an US exam is a noninvasive technique that transmits sound waves through the body. Images of the bladder and kidneys are captured to assess damage to these tissues as a result of chronic high pressure and urinary reflux.
  • Questionnaire – a published, standardized questionnaire used as a screening tool for overall bladder health and management.

Procedures for Assessing Bowel Function

  • Anorectal Manometry (ARM) – is a test that evaluates bowel function in individuals that have difficulty moving the bowels and/or experience stool leakage. It measures the strength of the rectal and anal sphincter muscles, sensation of stooling in the rectum as well as the neural reflexes necessary for bowel function.
  • Questionnaire – a published, standardized questionnaire used as a screening tool for overall bowel health and management.

Procedures for Assessing Sexual Function

  • Rigiscan – is a portable device that measures the circumferential change, rigidity, frequency and duration of erections while an individual sleeps in his own bed.
  • Strain-Gauge Plethysmography – is a device that measures changes in volume, such as with blood flow, in different areas of the body. It is also used as a vascular evaluation of erectile dysfunction by assessing the degree of arterial and venous occlusive involvement.
  • Questionnaire – a published, standardized questionnaire used as a screening tool of overall sexual health and management in both males and females.

What to Expect During Testing

  • A complete history and physical exam will be performed prior to any testing.
  • Testing occurs in a private, dedicated evaluation room.
  • An experienced nurse will perform the assessments.
  • Blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored throughout any testing.
  • Any special preparations, such as stopping medication, will be communicated prior to testing.
Download our Brochures to learn more about our bladder, bowel and sexual function testing.
Download our Bladder Diary
Download our Questionnaires
Research Innovation
  • Researchers at the University of Louisville and Frazier Rehab Institute continue to advance the frontiers of science, medicine and engineering. Our program emphasizes an interdisciplinary collaboration between research faculty, clinicians, students, therapists, administrative staff, industry and academic partners, as well as facilitating a relationship within the community. As a result, we are an internationally recognized research institution that seeks to create knowledge, bring innovation and advance the scientific field of paralysis research and treatment while ultimately having a positive influence over the lives of those living with spinal cord injuries.
Download our core-related research articles
Excellence and Expertise
  • We strive to combine excellent clinical treatment and scientific expertise in a compassionate environment. Our program is comprised of core personnel with a  training and expertise in spinal cord injury-related conditions. Our program directors are internationally recognized for their scientific contributions.