Love Your Urethra: Stop the Leak


TAMPA, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire)— An estimated 15 million women in the U.S. deal with stress urinary incontinence, an accidental leak of urine after pressure on the bladder from movement, a cough or a sneeze. A new procedure being used in the United States could help these women get the help they need. Urethra

Playing pat-a-cake wasn’t as easy as pie for Nicole Murphy. In fact, doing anything with her daughter was daunting.

“Very embarrassing and terrifying,” shared Nicole.

Nicole had stress urinary incontinence. She couldn’t do this without leaking.

“So I went from carrying a change of clothes for my daughter to carrying a change of clothes for me,” continued Nicole.

Stress urinary incontinence is caused by weakness in the pelvic floor. About one in three women have it at some point in their lives. Childbirth is the main cause.

Ravi Bukkapatnam, MD, Urologist, Tampa General Hospital explained, “What happens is the urethra loses support that it used to have and so women will leak typically starting with coughing and sneezing, lifting, laughing, jumping that kind of activity.”

(Read Full Interview)

Doctor Ravi used Bulkamid to put a stop to her problem. The Bulkamid bulking agent is injected into the urethral wall.

“It’s a clear gel that is easily injected and can take shape and can really bolster the urethra. People have been trying to fix stress incontinence for the last 30 plus 40 years,” stated Dr. Ravi.

Bulkamid has finally fixed Nicole’s problem.

“I am ecstatic. I love my new urethra. I love the fact that I can be active with my daughter,” smiled Nicole.

Enjoying playtime without worry.

Doctors say there are minimal, if any, side effects compared to sling surgery for urinary incontinence. Bulkamid was approved by the FDA in December.

Contributors to this news report include: Emily Gleason, Executive Producer; Chris Tilley, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

To receive a free weekly e-mail on medical breakthroughs from Ivanhoe, sign up at:




REPORT:       MB #4921

BACKGROUND: Stress incontinence is when physical movement or activity such as coughing, laughing or running puts pressure on the bladder causing a urine leak.

Although stress incontinence can occur with both men and women most of the time, it is most common in women due to pregnancy and childbirth, especially in women who have had multiple vaginal deliveries. During pregnancy and childbirth, the sphincter and pelvic muscles stretch out and are weakened. The muscles in the pelvis weaken; this in turn causes the bladder to drop down into a position that prevents the urethra from closing completely and the result is a leakage of urine.


DIAGNOSING: Your doctor or physical therapist can help you learn how to do Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and urinary sphincter. Kegel exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. You perform the exercise by squeezing and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles each day. It helps support not only the bladder but other organs as well. To get the most benefit make sure you exercise every day. Constipation can make incontinence worse. Try to prevent constipation by eating at high fiber foods (fruit, beans and dark-colored vegetables) to encourage regular bowel movements. It helps to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day, and exercise daily.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: Dr. Raviender Bukkapatnam, medical director of urology at Tampa General Hospital performs a procedure using Bulkamid, a hydrogel that restores the closing of the urethra to help women suffering from stress incontinence.  Bulkamid is delivered using a syringe via a series of small injections into the urethral wall in a minimally invasive, office or outpatient facility procedure. Once it is injected, the volume of the gel adds bulk to the urethra, supporting the closing mechanism of the urethra and providing better control of urine. The FDA approved Bulkamid in early 2020, but the treatment has been used in other countries for 10 years and has been used to treat over 70,000 women in that time. Additional studies have shown that Bulkamid retains its characteristics for many years, providing long-lasting relief from symptoms. Patients usually go home the same day after the procedure and resume normal activities within 24 hours.





If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Ravi Bukkapatnam, Urologist

Read the entire Q&A