Pelvic floor muscle training is not effective in women with UI in pregnancy: a randomised controlled trial

Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2007 Apr;18(4):383-90. doi: 10.1007/s00192-006-0175-x. Epub 2006 Aug 26.


The objective of this study was to test the short- and long-term effects of pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) during pregnancy in women at risk, i.e. women who were already affected by urinary incontinence (UI) during pregnancy. The intervention consisted of three sessions of PFMT between week 23 and 30 during pregnancy and one session 6 weeks after delivery, combined with written information. The research design was a randomised, controlled trial with four follow-ups up to 1 year after delivery. Participants in the study were 264 otherwise healthy women with UI during pregnancy, allocated at random to the intervention (112) or usual care (152) group. The main outcome measure was a UI severity scale and a 7-day bladder diary. No effect of pelvic floor muscle training was shown in this study at (half) a year after pregnancy. UI decreased strongly after pregnancy, irrespective of usual care or PMFT during pregnancy. For most women, usual care appears to be sufficient. The results support a 'wait and see' policy: wait for the urinary incontinence to take its natural course and see if, for women still incontinent half a year after pregnancy, pelvic floor muscle training is effective.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Floor / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Failure
  • Urinary Incontinence / therapy*