Can pelvic floor muscle training reverse pelvic organ prolapse and reduce prolapse symptoms? An assessor-blinded, randomized, controlled trial

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Aug;203(2):170.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2010.02.037. Epub 2010 May 1.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of pelvic floor muscle training in reversing pelvic organ prolapse and alleviating symptoms.

Study design: This assessor-blinded, parallel group, randomized, controlled trial conducted at a university hospital and a physical therapy clinic randomly assigned 109 women with prolapse stages I, II, and III to pelvic floor muscle training (n = 59) or control (n = 50). Both groups received lifestyle advices and learned "the Knack." In addition, pelvic floor muscle training comprised individual physical therapy sessions and home exercise. Student t test, Mann-Whitney U test, odds ratio, and effect size were used to compare groups.

Results: Eleven (19%) women in the pelvic floor muscle training group improved 1 Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification System stage vs 4 (8%) controls (P = .035). Compared with controls, the pelvic floor muscle training group elevated the bladder (difference: 3.0 mm; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-4.4; P < .001) and rectum (5.5 mm; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-7.3; P = .022) and reduced frequency and bother of symptoms compared with controls.

Conclusion: Pelvic floor muscle training is without adverse effects and can be used as treatment for prolapse.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / diagnostic imaging
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Norway
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pelvic Floor*
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / complications
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / etiology
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / prevention & control*