Fifty-two women, mean age 45.9 years (24–64) with clinically and urodynamically proven stress urinary incontinence (SUI) were randomly assigned to one of two different pelvic floor muscle (PFM) exercise groups. Both groups performed 8–12 maximal PFM contractions 3 times a day for 6 months. In addition one group exercised with an instructor intensively 45 min once a week performing long-lasting contractions with the supplement of 3–4 fast contractions at the end of each long-lasting contraction.
Initially and after 6 months an examination was performed comprising history, urinary leakage index, pad test, maximum urethral closure pressure, functional urethral profile length, and recording of vaginal pressure during PFM contractions. The latter was performed monthly.
After the treatment 60% of the intensive exercise (IE) group and 17.3% of the home exercise (HE) group reported to be continent or almost continent (P < .01). Only the IE group demonstrated significant reduction in urine loss; from mean 27 g to 7.1 g (P < .01) and improvement in maximum resting urethral closure pressure (mean improvement 4.6 cm H2O. P = .02). PFM strength improved with mean 15.5 cm H2O (P < .01) in the IE group while the HE group improved with 7.4 cm H2O (P < .01).
It is concluded that the results of PFM exercise for female SUI is highly dependent upon the degree and duration of treatment and frequent supervision by the therapist.