Pelvic floor electrical stimulation for the treatment of urge and mixed urinary incontinence in women

Urology. 1997 Dec;50(6):934-40. doi: 10.1016/S0090-4295(97)00484-6.


Objectives: To determine the efficacy of daily or every-other-day electrical stimulation in treating detrusor instability (urge) or urge plus genuine stress (mixed) urinary incontinence in women.

Methods: A multicenter, prospective, nonrandomized study enrolled subjects with urge and mixed urinary incontinence assigned to daily or every-other-day treatments (15 minutes twice daily) using pelvic floor stimulation. Outcome measures assessed were (1) leakage episodes, nocturnal episodes, voiding frequency, total voids, and pad count, and (2) patient subjective assessment and quality of life.

Results: Seventy-two subjects were enrolled. Sixty-eight subjects completed the 20-week protocol: 33 treated daily and 35 treated every other day. The entire study group (n = 68) experienced a significant decrease in total leaks (P < 0.001), nocturnal episodes (P = 0.001), pad count (P = 0.002), and total voids (P = 0.003) and on visual analog scales. Sixty-nine percent (n = 46) of subjects with urge or mixed incontinence were cured or improved by at least 50%, with 28% (n = 19) being cured. There were no significant differences between daily and every-other-day users. Nonresponse was correlated with number of previous therapies (P < 0.001) and number of vaginal deliveries (P = 0.007). Overall, subjects were 93% compliant with device use, and 72% (n = 47) were satisfied with the therapy.

Conclusions: Twenty weeks of pelvic floor electrical stimulation therapy is effective in treating urge and mixed urinary incontinence, regardless of daily or every-other-day treatments.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / instrumentation
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Floor
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / diagnosis
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / physiopathology
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / rehabilitation*
  • Urodynamics