What is stress urinary incontinence?

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the unintentional urination during physical activity or manual effort, such as coughing, laughing or exercising. It is caused by the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.

Stress urinary incontinence is a common condition – it affects one in three women.

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This condition can have a significant impact on everyday life, affecting ordinary activities, relationships and emotional well-being. Stress urinary incontinence can appear at every stage of life but the risk of its occurrence increases with age and due to changes in the pelvis caused by childbirth or pelvic surgery.

What is Bulkamid?

Bulkamid is a urethral tissue bulking agent, which consists of 97.5% water and 2.5% polyacrylamide. Bulkamid is injected into the soft urethral tissue. The bulking effect is achieved due to the volume of the injected gel.

What is the process of treatment using Bulkamid?

The procedure involves injecting Bulkamid into the wall of the urethra to increase the volume of the tissue (to “fill” it). The bulking agent supports the closing mechanism of the urethra and provides better continence control when coughing, laughing, exercising or changing positions. Filled urethra does not close completely – it can still open normally to allow urination.

It is a procedure much less invasive than surgery.

Most patients are treated with Bulkamid under local anaesthesia and feel only a slight pinch as the needle enters the urethral wall. During the procedure, a urethroscope is inserted into the urethra, which enables constant visual control. 3 or 4 doses of Bulkamid (1,5-2 ml of the total volume – equivalent to slightly less than half a teaspoon) are injected into the urethral tissue to narrow the urethral lumen and allow it to close during physical activity or exertion, thus preventing urine leakage. After the injection, the urethroscope is removed and the procedure is complete.

We recommend watching a video which clearly illustrates the treatment of urinary incontinence with Bulkamid:

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the benefits of using Bulkamid?

Most women treated with Bulkamid report complete resolution of the issue or reduction of the severity of the symptoms – many patients notice improvement as soon as they leave a hospital. Although complete absence of urine leakage is the most desirable outcome of the treatment, many women consider a significant reduction in the amount and frequency of urine leakage due to stress urinary incontinence to be effective, as it results in their return to the majority of daily activities. Patients who participated in clinical trials of Bulkamid were asked about their opinion on the results of the treatment 12 months after the first injection. More than three-quarters of women reported that the urinary incontinence was cured or alleviated, while in the case of about two out of three patients it disappeared completely. Clinical trials of Bulkamid have also shown that the effect is likely to last for many years. There are available data which prove that the majority of women treated more than 7 years ago continue to report benefits from treatment.

  • When should Bulkamid not be used?

The Bulkamid urethral bulking agent cannot be used in the case of patients with acute urinary tract infections.

  • What are the risks of using Bulkamid?

In the past 15 years, Bulkamid has been used to treat over 70,000 women suffering from stress urinary incontinence in 25 countries. During this time, only a small number of medical complications or incidents have been reported and no long-term complications have been observed. However, as with any procedure, complications can occur. These may include temporary pain during the treatment and shortly afterwards (which may be reduced by anaesthesia or analgesics), a small amount of blood in the urine, delayed or painful micturition and/or urinary tract infection. These complications are usually transitory and disappear within several days. In very rare cases, patients may experience difficulties with normal urination and may need to temporarily use a disposable catheter to empty the bladder. This condition generally resolves within 24 hours. As with any treatment, there is a possibility that Bulkamid injection may not be of any benefit. In addition, procedure using Bulkamid may not be effective for patients who suffer from incontinence of a different nature (such as urge incontinence) or those with increased severity of the incontinence.

  • What can I expect on the day of the procedure?

Treatment using Bulkamid is minimally invasive – it requires no cuts or incisions and usually takes around 10 minutes. The procedure is usually performed in an outpatient setting or at the same-day surgery unit. Patients most often go home on the same day. Before the treatment, a doctor discusses with patients whether a local or general anaesthesia should be performed to reduce discomfort associated with the procedure.

  • What can I expect after the procedure?

After the procedure and before leaving the clinic your ability to empty the bladder will be checked. If there is a problem with urination, it might be necessary to use a catheter for a short period (usually less than 24 hours) in order to allow emptying of the bladder. It is a rare complication. Once home, most patients return to normal activities within 24 hours – depending on their doctor's advice.

  • Can the treatment using Bulkamid be repeated?

If the relief of symptoms is not sufficient after Bulkamid administration, an additional injection (booster injection) may be carried out to achieve the desired result. It is recommended to wait at least 4 weeks after the first treatment before performing another injection. If urine leakage continues after the first procedure, talk to your doctor about additional treatment.

At Medicover Hospital, the treatment of stress urinary incontinence using Bulkamid is performed by experienced specialists:

Contact us to learn more about our offer and get more details
Call 500 900 900
or fill in the form – and we will call you back.

Szpital Medicover
Aleja Rzeczypospolitej 5
02-972 Warszawa