Urethral Bulking Procedure

When the Affiliated Urologists team talks about urethral bulking, we are talking about a procedure to treat urinary stress incontinence. 

Also known as a periurethral injection, urethral bulking is often used after medications such as anticholinergics have not been effective at treating the symptoms of incontinence.


Urethral bulking for urinary incontinence is used to treat leakage by externally compressing the urethra to decrease unwanted urinary leakage. The Affiliated Urologists team does this by injecting a material outside the urethra to increase the resistance of the urethral sphincter to allow better control of incontinence. The procedure may be repeated 2-3 times if necessary in order to find long-term relief from incontinence.


There are a number of approaches a physician can take during the procedure. The injection can be performed through the vagina, urethra, or anteriorly through the skin.

Patients can expect to receive local anesthesia the day of their procedure to reduce pain and discomfort. Then, a urology specialist will inject the bulking agent just outside the urethra near the bladder opening. The agent will immediately start to work on tightening the urethra and decreasing urinary leakage.

Following Urethral Bulking

Patients are generally allowed to go home the same day as the procedure. However, if sedation is used, we may request that the patient avoids driving home as the anesthetic may still be in effect. Patients may resume normal day-to-day activities, but may need to limit excessive physical activity for a few days after each injection.

Patients can expect a few potential side effects following periurethral injection to include an allergic reaction which should prompt an immediate call to our office. However, the risk of a reaction is low because our physicians can test for an allergic reaction prior to treatment and if confirmed, a different bulking agent can be used.

Experts have found that stress incontinence is best treated using a multidisciplinary approach. In addition to considering periurethral injection, patients may find it helpful to perform Kegel exercises and change their diet to avoid irritating an overactive bladder. Patients can speak to their Affiliated Urologists physician about whether or not their current incontinence medication should be resumed following their procedure. 

Affiliated Urologists is an award-winning practice recognized both locally and nationally that has provided service to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding communities in the Valley, for over 40 years. The physicians emphasize top-of-the-line comprehensive urological care and strive to deliver the highest outcomes for patient satisfaction. To make an appointment, call 602-264-0608 or visit http://affiliatedurologists.com/contact/ for instructions on scheduling an appointment.

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

New patients are always welcome.

Affiliated Urologists


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