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Can hypopressive exercises provide additional benefits to pelvic floor muscle training in women with pelvic organ prolapse?


  • Conflict of interest: none.

  • Linda Brubaker led the review process.



The aim of the study was to compare the effect of hypopressive exercises including pelvic floor muscle contraction, pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) alone and control on pelvic floor muscle function in women with pelvic organ prolapse (POP).


Fifty-eight women with a mean age of 55.4 (±9.8) years old with stage II POP were randomly assigned to participate in the PFMT group, the hypopressive exercises associated with PFMT (HE + PFMT) group or the control group. Each treatment group underwent a 3-month course of treatment. The three groups received lifestyle advice regarding weight loss, constipation, coughing, and the avoidance of heavy lifting. Participants were evaluated before and after the treatment. Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and endurance were assessed using the Modified Oxford grading system. To evaluate muscle activation, surface electromyography (SEMG) was used.


The two treatment group significantly increase pelvic floor muscle function as measured by MVC (P < 0.001) using the Modified Oxford grading system, as well as muscle activation (P < 0.001), measured by SEMG. The PFMT group was superior regarding endurance (P = 0.007). Both groups were superior to the control group regarding MVC, endurance and muscle activation.


Adding hypopressive exercises to PFMT does not improve PFM function. Both treatment groups performed better than the control group. Neurourol. Urodynam. 31:121–125, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.