Urethral bulking is a technique to thicken the lining of the urethra and narrow the inner diameter to prevent urinary leakage from stress urinary incontinence. The bulking agent increases the resistance to flow through the urethra and makes it more difficult for urine to leak out. Urethral bulking is done by your doctor either in the office under local anesthetic or in the operating room under a light anesthesia.
The bulking agent is effective immediately and there’s little down time in recovery. Most women are back to normal activities with no lifting precautions or sexual activity limitations within 24 hours. The lack of activity restrictions postoperatively makes this procedure very attractive for some women such as active mothers who need to lift their children and those with active lifestyles who enjoy working out at the gym and wish to minimize disruption of their routines.
Urethral bulking can be utilized for women still planning further pregnancies and for those who want to avoid or are too frail for a more invasive surgery. Urethral bulking can be repeated to improve the effectiveness if needed and does not affect sling placement at a later time should that be needed. The success rate of urethral bulking vary from 50-70% improvement in stress incontinence.