Pelvic-floor therapy in girls with recurrent urinary tract infections and dysfunctional voiding

Br J Urol. 1998 May;81 Suppl 3:109-13. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-410x.1998.00021.x.


Objective: To analyse the treatment of girls with recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs, at least two periods confirmed) and urodynamically confirmed dysfunctional voiding with pelvic-floor therapy.

Patients and methods: Forty-two girls with recurrent UTIs were treated prospectively during a study period of 18 months. Training consisted of an individually adapted voiding and drinking schedule, pelvic-floor relaxation biofeedback, instructions on toilet behaviour and biofeedback uroflowmetry; residual urine was estimated by ultrasonography. All the girls received prophylactic antibiotics during treatment and those girls with urodynamically proven detrusor instability (33) received anticholinergics. Therapy was considered successful when the girls remained free of infection with no further prophylactic antibiotics for at least 6 months.

Results: Four girls younger than 6 years all suffered nocturnal and diurnal incontinence and two had reflux. Treatment was effective for recurrent UTI in all and the reflux resolved in two. All four girls became dry during the day and one became dry at night. In the 38 girls older than 6 years, the treatment was successful for recurrent UTI in 24 from the out-patient and in all three from the clinical programme. Reflux, which was seen in six of these girls, resolved in five; one girl underwent bilateral reimplantation. Incontinence was treated in all 23 girls with incontinence problems before treatment (four of whom were initially dry). Twelve girls needed a wetting alarm to become dry during the night. In four girls the treatment was effective for recurrent UTI but the incontinence persisted; in seven the treatment was considered unsuccessful as they all had UTIs after treatment; all remained incontinent. Reflux persisted in all four girls in this group who had reflux before treatment.

Conclusion: The training programme was effective in treating recurrent UTI in 35 of 42 girls (83%). The persistence of incontinence problems is a bad prognostic factor for the recurrence of UTI after the training programme. Pelvic-floor therapy seems a reasonable and meaningful component in the treatment of recurrent UTIs in which detrusor-sphincter dyssynergia plays a role.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biofeedback, Psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drinking Behavior
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Medical Records
  • Pelvic Floor
  • Posture
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Tract Infections / complications
  • Urinary Tract Infections / physiopathology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / therapy*
  • Urination / physiology
  • Urination Disorders / complications
  • Urination Disorders / physiopathology
  • Urination Disorders / therapy*
  • Urodynamics