Twelve to 55% of women experience stress urinary incontinence at some time during their lifetime.
To compare the effectiveness of pelvic floor muscle training with and without electrical stimulation in treatment of stress urinary incontinence.
Participants were 24 women, 27-73 years of age, diagnosed with stress urinary incontinence. Exclusion criteria were pregnancy and urge urinary incontinence. These participants were randomly divided into group 1 and 2. Both groups trained 15 min. twice a day for 9 weeks. Group 2 used simultaneously intermittent electrical stimulation. The pelvic floor muscles were evaluated using the Oxford scale, vaginal palpation, and by electromyogram, (Myomed 930, Enraf Nonius). The quantity and frequency of urinary incontinence episodes was evaluated using a questionnaire and a VAS scale before and after the treatment.
The groups were demographically similar, except group 2 was significantly younger. Both groups had significantly increased pelvic floor muscle strength (p=0.007; p=0.005 respectively) after the treatment and 70% of all the women had reduced or no stress urinary incontinence. Group 2 had significantly (p=0.013) better relaxation post treatment.
Pelvic floor muscle training is an effective treatment for stress urinary incontinence, but electrical stimulation gave no additional effect for this patient group. The significantly lower relaxation threshold in group 2 indicates that electrical stimulation could be a possible treatment for symptoms caused by hypertensive pelvic floor muscles.