The aim of this study was to assess the effects of home-based Kegel exercises in women with stress and mixed urinary incontinence. A total of 90 women with urodynamically proven urinary stress (SUI) and mixed (MUI) incontinence awaiting anti-incontinence surgery were recruited in the urogynaecology clinic of Ankara Zekai Tahir Burak Women's Health Research and Education Hospital. Of these, 18 women were excluded due to low compliance and the remaining 72 were divided into two groups according to urodynamic diagnosis (SUI group, n = 38; MUI group, n = 34). Age, BMI, menopausal status and medical history of the women were recorded. The women took Kegel exercise, consisting of 10 sets of contractions/day; each set included 10 repetitions, for at least 8 weeks. To evaluate the pelvic floor muscle strength, the modified Oxford grading system was used before and after Kegel exercising. The Incontinence Impact Questionnaire (IIQ-7); Urogenital Distress Inventory (UDI-6) and the Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I) questions were compared before and after 8 weeks of Kegel exercising. The age, BMI, gravidity, menopausal status, macrosomic fetus history, hypertension and asthma were similar between the groups. There were statistically significant lower scores in both IIQ-7 and UDI-6 before and after Kegel exercises within each group (p < 0.001). The mean change of the IIQ-7 and UDI-6 score was statistically significantly higher in the SUI group than in the MUI group (p = 0.023 and p = 0.003, respectively). Results of the Oxford scale were also statistically significantly higher after Kegel exercises within each group (p = < 0.001). In total, 68.4% of the women in the SUI group and 41.2% of the women in the MUI group reported improvements which were statistically significant (p = 0.02). We conclude that home-based Kegel exercises, with no supervision, have been found effective in women with SUI and MUI. The improvement was more prominent in women with SUI.
Keywords: Home-based Kegel; mixed urinary incontinence; quality of life; stress urinary incontinence.