Coaptite is a gel-like substance that is used as a bulking agent. It is injected around the sphincter where the urethra and bladder meet. Sphincter muscles control the release of urine from the bladder. The substance supports the urethra, decreasing incontinence.
This procedure is for women who have stress urinary incontinence. This is the leakage of urine caused by weakening of the muscles around the bladder and pelvis.
Muscles Involved in Incontinence in Women
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Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
You should avoid this procedure if you have a history of:
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the injection.
Your doctor may do the following:
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
Other things to keep in mind before the procedure:
This procedure can be done under local, spinal, or general anesthesia. It will block any pain. Sedation may also be used to ease anxiety.
An IV may be placed in your arm. It will deliver fluids and medications directly into your bloodstream. A special jelly or fluid may be placed into your urethra to numb the area. If you are having spinal anesthesia, it will be injected into the spine. General anesthesia will be given through an IV.
A tiny camera will be inserted into your urethra. This will allow the doctor to see the bladder. The coaptite substance will be passed through the scope. It will be injected into the urethra wall near the bladder. The procedure will be repeated on the other side of the urethra. The gel will create a bulge just under the bladder.
You will be monitored as the anesthesia wears off.
The procedure usually takes 15-30 minutes.
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. Ask your doctor about medication to help with pain after the injection.
After the procedure, the hospital staff may provide the following care:
You will not need to stay overnight.
You will need to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting. Do not return to sexual activity until your doctor clears you.
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications such as:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Urological Association
Products and medical procedures. US Food & Drug Administration website. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/default.htm. Updated August 4, 2017. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Urinary incontinence. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/urinary-incontinence. Updated April 2014. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Urinary incontinence. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at:
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Accessed December 18, 2017.
Urinary incontinence in men. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T900624/Urinary-incontinence-in-men . Updated May 31, 2017. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Urinary incontinence in women. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T900573/Urinary-incontinence-in-women . Updated November 1, 2017. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 12/20/2014