Effect of Exercises of Pelvic-Floor Muscle Strengthening on Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence: Evidence-Based Review

Document Type : Original Article


1 Lecturer, Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 M.Sc. of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: This study was held to assess the literatures related to pelvic-floor muscle (PFM) strengthening exercises in women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI). This review also included the comparison of types of exercise-training protocols such as: group and individual training, skill and strength training, optimal treatment period, women’s positions while doing exercises, and the last, the best available evidence for selecting the most effective exercise-training protocols.
Methods: Some of the major evidence-based electronic sources (Evidence-Based Practice, Medlin, and Cochrane Database) were searched to identify published papers from 1995 to 2010. Fifty Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) were found and 25 of them selected to access the best available evidence for training program in women with stress urinary incontinence.
Results: The evidence showed that doing group or individual exercise programs doesn’t have any effect on treatment results. While, scientific evidence suggests that a combination of strength and skill training is effective on treatment for stress urinary incontinence women, but the contribution of each component to the outcome is unclear. Less than three months treatment programs improve SUI, as well as PFM strength. In addition, there is no evidence for priority of specific position in different studies of exercise program.
Conclusion: Although strong evidence proves the effectiveness of pelvic-floor muscle strengthening exercise on treatment of SUI in women, further studies are needed to determine the most optimal training protocol.


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