Which patients benefit from pelvic floor muscle training for urinary incontinence?

Updated: Sep 23, 2019
  • Author: Sandip P Vasavada, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Individuals who benefit most tend to be young healthy women who can identify the levator ani muscles (specifically, the pubococcygeus portion) accurately. Older adults with weak pelvic muscle tone or women who have difficulty recognizing the correct muscles need adjunctive therapy such as biofeedback or electrical stimulation. Patients with severe neuromuscular damage to the pelvic floor may not be able to perform Kegel exercises, even with proper instruction.

Internet and mail-based treatment programs based on pelvic floor muscle training significantly improved symptoms and condition-related quality of life in a study of 250 community-dwelling women (aged 18-70 years) with stress urinary incontinence. At 1-year follow-up, 69.8% (60/86) of patients in the Internet treatment group and 60.5% (46/76) of patients in the postal treatment group reported continued satisfaction with their treatment result. At 2-year follow-up, these proportions were 64.9% (48/74) and 58.2% (46/79), respectively. [89]


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