Sexual Function and Quality of Life of Women with Stress Urinary Incontinence: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing the Paula Method (Circular Muscle Exercises) to Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT) Exercises

Henrietta Szold School of Nursing in the Faculty of Medicine, Hadassah/Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.
Journal of Sexual Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.15). 04/2012; 9(6):1613-23. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02721.x
Source: PubMed


To compare the effectiveness of the Paula method (circular muscle exercises) vs. pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) exercises on sexual function (SF) and quality of life (QoL) of women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted in outpatient urban community clinics serving diverse socioeconomic populations between September 2004 and July 2005. The intervention included two exercise regimens: Paula method--12 weeks of private 45 minutes sessions; PFMT--12 weeks of group (up to 10 participants) sessions of 30 minutes in length once a week, for 4 weeks plus two additional sessions, 3 weeks apart.
The Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire; the Incontinence Quality of Life Questionnaire; 1-hour clinic pad test; gynecological examination; demographic/health history.
Sixty-six women in the Paula group and 60 women in the PFMT group. The mean SF scores post interventions were 38.72 (5.35) in the Paula group and 38.07 (5.80) in the PFMT group. SF score improvement was found to be significant in both groups (Paula, P = 0.01; PFMT, P = 0.05), as was in the QoL scores (Paula, P < 0.001; PFMT, P ≤ 0.001), with no significant difference between groups. There was a significant correlation between the mean SF score and the mean QoL score after the intervention (Paula: r = 0.4, P = 0.002; PFMT: r = 0.4, P = 0.009). A mild to moderate significant correlation was also found between the SF score and pad test results in both groups post intervention (r = -0.3, P = 0.02; r = -0.3, P = 0.04, respectively).
This RCT study demonstrated the effectiveness of two exercise methods on SF and QoL in women suffering from SUI. The Paula method of exercise was presented for the first time in the literature as a conservative noninvasive treatment for SUI and SF.

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