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Pad test instructions

Patient information A-Z

Who is the leaflet for? What is its aim?

This leaflet is for you if you have been asked to complete a Pad Test to establish how much urine you leak over a 24 hours period.

The aim of the leaflet is to explain the test to you, how to perform the test and what to do with the pads once you have completed the test.

Your urogynaecologist will then review the results and in consultation with you decide upon a plan to manage your condition.

The pad test

By weighing protective pads before and after use, the amount of urine leaked into the pad can be measured. In this way urinary leakage can be quantified; pad tests largely measure the severity of leakage. A positive pad test may indicate Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), Urge Incontinence (UI) or Overactive Bladder Syndrome (OAB) and it is important that your urogynaecologist knows exactly what your problem is so that he/she can discuss the most appropriate management with you.

This test is performed by you during a specific 24 hour period and preferably one that reflects your normal routine whether you are at home or work. It must be started as soon as you get up in the morning and completed the following morning at the same time (24 hours later).

You will have been given a transport zip-locked bag containing 4 pads and 4 further zip-lock bags. Take the unused pads and zip-locked bags out of the transport bag and keep 3 pads and the inside zip-lock bags to one side and place a pad into your underwear. Continue with your normal activities wearing the pad.

When you feel a pad is ‘full’ place it into one of the inside zip-locked bags and seal it to prevent evaporation. Place this bag inside the outer transport bag. Then put on another pad and continue with your day as normal. When ‘full’ place and seal this pad into another inside zip-locked bag and continue with another pad. Continue with your day, changing as necessary saving the pads as described. You are to wear one of the pads you have been given at all times during the 24 hours. You will be asked to return all four of the provided pads and zip-locked bags (used and unused) in the outer bag.

In some circumstances four pads will not be enough, please continue to use your own pads but only return the four we gave you for the test as these have all been weighed to enable us to measure the amount of leaked urine. If you use your own pads please make a note of this on the attached form so your urogynaecologist has this information.

Please return the bag to Clinic 21, The Rosie Hospital, Box No. 242 ensuring the Pad test result form (attached) is securely attached to the bag so we are able to identify the bag as yours and ensure your results are available to your consultant.


The benefit of the pad test is to establish the exact nature of your condition thereby ensuring you receive the correct management to help improve your quality of life.


There are no risks to this test.

Contacts and further information

For any questions or queries relating to this test please contact:

Clinic 21 (The Rosie Hospital)
01223 216482
08.00 – 16.00 Monday to Friday
Closed weekends and Bank holidays

Urogynaecology Specialist Nurses
Via switchboard 01223 245151 and ask for 157952 or 159216
08.00 – 18.00 Monday to Thursday and
08.00 – 17.30 Friday
Unavailable weekends and Bank Holidays

References and sources of evidence

Privacy and dignity

Same sex bays and bathrooms are offered in all wards except critical care and theatre recovery areas where the use of high-tech equipment and/or specialist one to one care is required.

Clinic 21 is mainly a female patient area only, however partners are allowed to accompany women.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151