Stress urinary incontinence is very common among women of all ages and increases as you get older. Apart from aging, other factors include childbirth, obesity or some form of a pelvic floor disorder.
Urethral bulking involves the injection of a soft hydrogel (the size of a pea) like Bulkamid, into 3 or 4 locations in the urethral wall using a small telescope. The total volume injected is around 2mls.
Bulkamid aims to restore the natural closing pressure of the urethra preventing urine from leaking out unintentionally during normal daily activities (e.g. when you cough, laugh, walk or exercise).
Urethral bulking takes around 5 – 10 minutes and is usually done in day surgery or out-patient clinic with a local anaesthetic.
A series of small injections are used, you may feel a sting, however, no cuts are made.
In most cases patients can get back to their normal activities within a day.
report that their stress urinary incontinence was cured or improved after treatment with Bulkamid2
from stress urinary incontinence symptoms3-4
have been treated with Bulkamid
Short term side effects normally resolve within a couple of days5
Bulkamid is a soft, smooth hydrogel that consists of 97.5% water and 2.5% polyacrylamide.
Once injected, Bulkamid provides additional volume to the urethra and acts as a scaffold for cells to grow through helping to provide long lasting relief of stress urinary incontinence symptoms.
*As with any procedure short term complications may happen, these can include mild pain after the procedure, difficulty emptying your bladder, urgency (the sudden urge to urinate), urinary tract infection, mild burning or bleeding when urinating. However, these normally resolve within a couple of days after your treatment.
As a keen walker, enjoying regular holidays in the Lake District, I soon decided that stress incontinence wasn’t something I was prepared to put up with. I’d tried pelvic floor exercises and specialist physiotherapy, but neither seemed to make much difference. I was able to wear pads in the short term but increasingly, I found them uncomfortable and inconvenient. I was becoming rather fed up with my outings and holidays constantly being interrupted by having to locate a loo!
The Bulkamid procedure is ‘non-invasive’ and only took around 15 minutes. I was back doing all my normal activities the next day, which seems incredible given the usual 6 week recovery time from traditional surgery.
From that day onwards I didn’t need to wear pads again and those embarrassing leaks when coughing, sneezing and walking up hills were a thing of the past. It’s made such a difference to my life.
The procedure was very simple. I was completely dry within a day or two, and returned to work the next day, carrying on with life as normal
Over the past few years, I’d really got into going to the gym, particularly working with weights but increasingly my bladder issues – and those embarrassing leaks – were really starting to impact on what I could comfortably do.
Lifting heavier weights was becoming impossible – let alone more energetic forms of exercise such as jumping and skipping – so I decided enough was enough and I wanted to do something about it. I wasn’t prepared to give up my love of fitness and going to the gym regularly – nor did I want to be constantly worrying about wearing incontinence pads.
So, I booked an appointment with my GP and requested a referral for further investigation. The procedure was a little uncomfortable and stung a bit (when the local anaesthetic was applied) but it was all over in 15 mins and I was able to go home shortly after. In fact, I was back at the gym that evening and achieved a personal best in deadlifting, without any leakage!