Urethral inserts are narrow, solid flexible tubes that women place in their urethras to prevent urine from leaking involuntarily, according to WebMD. The mechanical devices offer a low-risk, low-cost nonsurgical solution for incontinence. Possible side effects from using urethral inserts include urethral damage, urinary tract infection and irritated skin.
A long-term study of women who used urethral inserts showed the devices were safe, easy to use, reduced urine incontinence episodes, prevented urine loss effectively, and improved the quality of life even in elderly women, according to PubMed. Approximately 31 percent of the study participants experienced symptoms of urinary tract infections. The study confirmed that urethral inserts are a viable option for managing urinary incontinence.