Pelvic floor exercise for urinary incontinence: a systematic literature review.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.
Maturitas (Impact Factor: 2.84). 12/2010; 67(4):309-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2010.08.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Urinary incontinence is a common problem among adults and conservative management is recommended as the first-line treatment. Physical therapies, particularly pelvic floor muscle exercise, are the mainstay of such conservative management. The purpose of this review is to summarise current literature and describe trends in the use of pelvic floor muscle exercise in the management of urinary incontinence in women. Our review confirms that pelvic floor muscle exercise is particularly beneficial in the treatment of urinary stress incontinence in females. Studies have shown up to 70% improvement in symptoms of stress incontinence following appropriately performed pelvic floor exercise. This improvement is evident across all age groups. There is evidence that women perform better with exercise regimes supervised by specialist physiotherapists or continence nurses, as opposed to unsupervised or leaflet-based care. There is evidence for the widespread recommendation that pelvic floor muscle exercise helps women with all types of urinary incontinence. However, the treatment is most beneficial in women with stress urinary incontinence alone, and who participate in a supervised pelvic floor muscle training programme for at least three months.


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