Pelvic floor exercises versus vaginal weight cones in genuine stress incontinence.Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1998 Mar; 77(1):89-93.EJ
To compare pelvic floor exercises and vaginal weight cones in the treatment of genuine stress incontinence.
Randomised controlled trial.
Sixty ambulatory and fit white women (mean age 56 years) with urinary stress incontinence, treated by a single physiotherapist as outpatients during twelve weeks. Thirty women were allocated to a weekly session of pelvic floor exercises. Thirty were allocated to using cones, they were seen every two weeks.
Objective: stress test, vaginal squeezing capacity. Subjective: urinary diary, visual analogue scales.
Characteristics of both study groups were comparable. Unfortunately, there was an early withdrawal of fourteen (47%) women in the group treated with cones, and none in the other group. Therefore the pelvic floor exercise group was compared not only with the group intended to be treated with cones, but also with the selected group that only received cone therapy. No statistically significantly differences in outcome measures were found between the groups: 53% in the group assigned to pelvic floor exercises and 57% into the group assigned to cones, of which 50% in the group actually treated with cones, considered themselves as cured or improved to a significant degree. Long-term follow-up was not possible as all cone users refused continued exercises with cones once the twelve weeks had ended.
Pelvic floor exercises and cones are equally effective in the treatment of genuine stress incontinence. Cones are cost and time saving. However, the low patient compliance with the cones importantly limits its clinical applicability, especially in the long run. Therefore, we do not recommend the use of cones.