Pfilates and Hypopressives for the Treatment of Urinary Incontinence After Radical Prostatectomy: Results of a Feasibility Randomized Controlled Trial

PM R. 2020 Jan;12(1):55-63. doi: 10.1002/pmrj.12157. Epub 2019 Jul 3.


Background: Urinary incontinence (UI) is an important side effect of radical prostatectomy (RP). Coactivation of surrounding muscles via novel techniques for pelvic floor rehabilitation known as Pfilates and Hypopressives has not been compared to pelvic floor muscle exercises (PFMXs) for UI.

Objective: To assess the feasibility and efficacy of isolated PFMXs with and without the addition of Pfilates and Hypopressives on UI recovery following RP.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Participants were recruited from a community and tertiary cancer center in Toronto, Canada.

Participants: A total of 226 patients undergoing RP were assessed for eligibility. One hundred twenty-two patients were eligible and 50 consented to participate; 37 participants completed the trial.

Methods: Participants were randomized to either isolated PFMX (control) or PFMX plus Pfilates and Hypopressives (advanced pelvic floor exercises; APFX) groups. PFMX participants (n = 25) received instructions for isolated pelvic floor contractions starting with 30 contractions per day during weeks 1 to 2 up to 180 per day for weeks 7 to 26. The APFX group (n = 25) received a comparable volume of exercises.

Main outcome measurements: Feasibility was assessed by rates of recruitment, adverse events, and study-arm compliance. Information about UI and quality of life was collected 1 week before surgery and at 2, 6, 12, and 26 weeks after surgery.

Results: The recruitment rate was 41%, adherence to the PFMXs and APFXs was >70%, and there were no reported adverse events. Between-group differences were observed in the frequency of self-reported 24-hour urinary leakage (rate ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.2-0.98) and during waking hours (rate ratio 0.43, 95% CI 0.20-0.91) at 26 weeks after surgery favoring APFX.

Conclusions: Pfilates and Hypopressives are feasible in men undergoing RP, and preliminary data suggest a potential benefit in aiding recovery of urinary control. Larger studies with longer follow-up are warranted.

Level of evidence: II.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pelvic Floor*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / rehabilitation*
  • Prostatectomy / adverse effects*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Incontinence / etiology
  • Urinary Incontinence / rehabilitation*