Assessment of Kegel pelvic muscle exercise performance after brief verbal instruction

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1991 Aug;165(2):322-7; discussion 327-9. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(91)90085-6.


Forty-seven women had urethral pressure profile determinations performed at rest and during a Kegel pelvic muscle contraction, after brief standardized verbal instruction. Twenty-three (49%) had an ideal Kegel effort--a significant increase in the force of urethral closure without an appreciable Valsalva effort. Twelve subjects (25%) displayed a Kegel technique that could potentially promote incontinence. Age, parity, weight, estrogen deprivation, prior continence surgery or hysterectomy, and passive urethral function did not predict a successful effort. We concluded that simple verbal or written instruction does not represent adequate preparation for a patient who is about to start a Kegel exercise program.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biofeedback, Psychology
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Urinary Incontinence / prevention & control
  • Urination / physiology
  • Verbal Learning*