Use of transabdominal ultrasound imaging in retraining the pelvic-floor muscles of a woman postpartum

Phys Ther. 2008 Oct;88(10):1208-17. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20070330. Epub 2008 Sep 4.


Background and purpose: Postpartum stress urinary incontinence (SUI) often compromises a woman's ability to participate in normal daily routines or physical activities. Pelvic-floor muscle (PFM) training has been shown to be effective in improving urinary incontinence. Transabdominal ultrasound (TAUS) imaging is a new, noninvasive method for assessing the function of the PFMs. This case report describes the use of TAUS imaging in the strengthening of a patient's PFMs.

Case description: The patient was a 29-year-old woman experiencing SUI with high-impact activities following a history of 2 vaginal deliveries, 1 resulting in a grade III perineal laceration. Intervention included PFM training with the use of TAUS imaging. A 1-year follow-up examination was performed to assess the long-term functional outcomes experienced by the patient. The patient's ability to maintain a PFM contraction during motor tasks was documented throughout the course of treatment to demonstrate her gain in PFM control.

Outcomes: The patient gained strength in her PFMs, enabling her to maintain a PFM contraction during various motor tasks. She was able to return to a running program with no SUI symptoms. Her satisfaction level was high at 1 year.

Discussion: The use of TAUS imaging was a helpful assessment and biofeedback tool for re-education and rehabilitation of the PFMs for this patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Pelvic Floor / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pelvic Floor / physiopathology*
  • Puerperal Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Puerperal Disorders / etiology
  • Puerperal Disorders / therapy*
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / diagnostic imaging
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / etiology
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / therapy*