Injections Bulking Agents Women
If you suffer from SUI, your doctor may recommend treatment with bulking agents. These are injected into your urethral wall so that the urethra is compressed and can better resist the pressure of a full bladder. The bulking agent is injected as a liquid that then hardens into a spongy material to strengthen the urethral wall. Bulking agents can consist of synthetic materials or bovine collagen. The effect of the procedure will wear off with time.
When should I consider a bulking agent injection?
Injection with bulking agents is recommended if you are unfit for other treatments or you prefer to postpone a more invasive surgery.
How are bulking agents injected?
For the procedure you usually receive local anaesthesia. First the doctor inserts a catheter to make sure that your bladder is completely empty during the procedure. The doctor then uses an endoscope to guide a needle into the wall of the urethra. The doctor injects the bulking agents on both sides of the urethra (Fig. 1).
How do I prepare for the procedure?
Before the procedure, the doctor will ask for a urine sample to make sure you do not have a urinary tract infection. If you have an infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics.
How long will it take me to get back to my daily activities?
The doctor will generally remove the catheter shortly after the procedure. If you are able to urinate without any problems and there is not much residual urine in the bladder, you will be discharged from the clinic.
For 3-4 weeks your doctor may recommend to:
- Drink 1-2 litres every day, especially water
- Not lift anything heavier than 5 kilograms
- Not do any heavy exercise
- Take showers instead of baths
- Avoid thermal baths, or going to the sauna
- Prevent constipation by adapting your diet
- Avoid sexual activity with vaginal penetration for 1 month
You need to go to your doctor or go back to the hospital right away if you:
- Develop a fever
- Are unable to urinate on your own
- Have heavy blood loss or pain