Retest reliability of surface electromyography on the pelvic floor muscles

Neurourol Urodyn. 2009;28(5):395-9. doi: 10.1002/nau.20648.


Aims: The aim of the current study was to evaluate the retest reliability of repeated intravaginal surface electromyography (surface EMG) of the pelvic floor muscles in healthy women, who were able to perform correct pelvic floor muscle contractions.

Methods: Seventeen nullipara women in the age of 20-35 years completed the measurements. The surface EMG was performed with the subjects in supine position with knees bent. The surface and ground electrodes were attached to a vaginal probe. A total of three test sessions were conducted, two on the same day with 30 minutes apart and a third 26-30 days later. Each test session consisted of three maximum contractions, 10 seconds hold and 10 seconds rest.

Results: Average activity, peak, work and baseline showed good to high reliability (ICC = 0.83-0.96). The reliability was somewhat higher in-between test session one and two compared with test session number three. Generally choosing the highest contraction in one test session resulted in a slightly higher ICC than taking an average result of all three contractions.

Conclusions: The current study shows that surface EMG is a reliable method of assessing pelvic floor muscle activity in healthy women. Neurourol. Urodynam. 28:395-399, 2009. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electromyography* / instrumentation
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Pelvic Floor / physiology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Supine Position
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult