The acute effect of magnetic stimulation of the pelvic floor on involuntary detrusor activity during natural filling and overactive bladder symptoms




To evaluate the effect of magnetic stimulation of the pelvic floor (MSPF) on involuntary detrusor activity observed during natural filling, and on the overactive bladder symptom complex.


Eighteen women with detrusor overactivity on conventional cystometry underwent ambulatory urodynamic monitoring over two filling cycles. Fluid intake was standardized, provocative manoeuvres applied at regular intervals and symptoms documented contemporaneously. During the second filling cycle MSPF was delivered whenever the detrusor pressure increased by> 5 cmH2O. The women were subsequently treated with MSPF for 6 weeks; their lower urinary tract symptoms were assessed before and after treatment.


Comparing the second (stimulated) cycle with the first (unstimulated) cycle, cystometric capacity was higher (373 vs 224 mL, P < 0.03). and involuntary detrusor activity of shorter duration (370 vs 427 s, P < 0.82) and lower amplitude (53 vs 63 cmH2O, P ≤ 0.05). All women tolerated the procedure comfortably, but nine found it too time-consuming and withdrew. In the nine women who completed treatment there was no consistent change in overactive bladder symptoms.


In this pilot study, MSPF during natural filling was associated with a decrease in the amplitude of involuntary detrusor contractions and a significant increase in cystometric capacity. However, MSPF had a variable effect on sensations of urgency, both acutely and after treatment, and currently there is no evidence to suggest that MSPF has an enduring effect on symptoms of the overactive bladder.