Bulkamid is a non-particulate, non-resorbable homogenous hydrogel which consists of 97.5% water and 2.5% polyacrylamide

Bulkamid does not rely upon a reaction from host tissue to generate its desired effect

Bulkamid is injected into the walls of your urethra and does not involve incisions or cuts into the skin or vaginal wall which may be required with other operations for stress urinary incontinence. Bulkamid is usually done under local anaesthetic, in which case you will be awake and may feel a sting. You can discuss the anaesthetic options with your doctor.

There have been no long-term complications reported from more than 50,000 women who have been treated with Bulkamid1.
As with any procedure short-term complications may happen. However, these normally resolve within a couple of days after your treatment. 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.2

Usually women can return to normal activities within 24 hours of the procedure, although heavy lifting, hard physical exercise and sexual intercourse should be avoided for up to 2- 3 weeks.

Yes, Bulkamid has proven to be successful in women who have undergone previous surgical procedures for stress urinary incontinence, with good outcomes and low complication rates.3

If Bulkamid does not reduce your stress urinary incontinence symptoms enough, you may need a further top up injection. This is usually done within the first year following the initial procedure. If after your top up you feel Bulkamid is not for you, you can discuss other treatment options with your doctor. Having Bulkamid does not mean you cannot then have other treatments.

Yes, unlike more invasive surgical treatment options for stress urinary incontinence, if you are considering future pregnancies you can still have the Bulkamid procedure.

There are many treatment options available for stress urinary incontinence including pelvic floor muscle training and lifestyle changes. This should be tried before further treatment options are considered. However, in many patients these do not make a meaningful difference to your symptoms. Besides Bulkamid, other more invasive surgical options are available – click here to view the treatment options table. All options should be discussed with your doctor.

In general, plastics are synthetic materials made from a wide range of organic polymers such as polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC, nylon, etc., that can be molded into shape while soft, and then set into mostly rigid objects. Hydrogels are gels (soft materials) composed of one or more polymers suspended in water. Although both type of materials are based on polymers, there is a fundamental difference, namely that the hydrogels constitute polymers as the minor constituent whereas plastics constitute polymers as the main constituent. Bulkamid, for example, contains 2.5% dry matter (polymer) in pure water and is therefore very dilute with respect to the polymer constituent.

“Poly-” means “many” and a polymer means “many parts” – a very large molecule made up of repeating units like a pearls on a string. Polymers can be synthetic or naturally occurring and can be found anywhere. They constitute many molecules in the human body, e.g Polysaccharide (Sugars), Polypeptides (Proteins), DNA (Genetic material) etc. Natural polymers include leather, rubber, and starch in French fries etc.

Synthetic polymers make up our clothing, jogging shoes and plastic bottles.

Since both types of materials contain polymers – and polymers and plastics are sometimes presented as being exactly the same – it is very important to stress that hydrogels have so little polymer-polymer interactions and hence they cannot be regarded as plastics.

Bulkamid belongs to extremely soft materials and its mechanical properties are compatible with native soft tissues and organs. In Bulkamid the polymer forms a network resembling extracellular tissue matrix and upon implantation it becomes an integrated part of the tissues and does not change over time. The Bulkamid hydrogel is almost inert material and elicits none to minimal foreign body reaction from native tissues and it does not cause immune system sensitisation.

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.

Patient treated at Royal Berkshire Hospital, UK

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.

Patient treated in Helsinki Women's Hospital, Finland

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!

Patient treated at York Hospital, UK
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