This Best Practice Information Sheet is derived from 21 studies and aims to synthesize the best available evidence on the effectiveness of pelvic floor muscle exercises on urinary incontinence in women following childbirth. The information that is contained in this sheet has been derived from studies that were included in a systematic review that was conducted by the Joanna Briggs Institute. The original references can be sourced from the systematic review. Pregnancy and childbirth are major risk factors for the development of urinary incontinence as the muscles of the pelvic floor become stretched and weakened. For some women, such incontinence after childbirth is temporary, but for others, their suffering can be of much longer-term duration. A number of risk factors has been identified for urinary incontinence following childbirth, including antenatal urinary incontinence, obesity, and significant perineal trauma. The aim of pelvic floor muscle exercises is to strengthen the perivaginal and perianal musculature in order to increase a woman's control of urinary leakage.
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