Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Kegel exercises reduce urinary incontinence in women, study confirms

06.02.2006


Women suffering from urinary incontinence can benefit from pelvic floor muscle training, commonly known as Kegel exercises, according to a new review of studies.


A supervised regimen of Kegel exercises for at least three months was found to be especially effective for stress incontinence. Men also can use Kegel exercises, but were not included in the analysis.

The systematic review, led by Jean Hay-Smith, Ph.D., of the Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, was based on data from six randomized controlled trials involving 403 women.

The review appeared in The Cochrane Library, published by The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. These reviews draw their conclusions about medical practice based on evidence from several clinical studies on a given topic, after the reviewers consider both the content and quality of these studies.



The researchers found that Kegel exercise programs are more effective if steps are taken to ensure that patient are exercising the correct muscles and are given support in sticking with the exercises.

"It seems strange that we consult personal trainers, gym instructors and physical therapists about strengthening other muscles in the body, but few women have an assessment and individualized program for their pelvic floor muscles," Hay-Smith said.

The studies compared the exercises were compared to no treatment, a placebo drug or an inactive control treatment. In the study with the smallest effect, women who did the exercises were 2.5 times more likely to be cured, while women in another study were about 17 times more likely to be cured.

Urinary incontinence can take the form of stress incontinence (losing bladder control during exercise, a cough or a sneeze), urge incontinence (losing control because of a sudden need to urinate) or a combination of the two.

Bladder incontinence is more common in women than men, with between 10 percent and 40 percent of adult women thought to be affected. People may avoid discussing the condition with their physicians, so prevalence is difficult to gauge.

The exercises, named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, have been around for decades and their efficacy has been long debated, said Kathryn L. Burgio, Ph.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. "The value of this review is the stringent look at data to prove it is effective," she said.

Kegel exercises consist of regularly contracting and relaxing the pubococcygeus muscles of the pelvic floor, which support the bladder. The correct muscles must be used, Burgio said, and the exercises usually must be done regularly for several weeks before any improvement is seen. Some women, and some doctors, may give up too quickly, before the exercises show any benefit.

Other treatments for incontinence include lifestyle interventions, behavioral training, bladder training, anti-incontinence devices, biofeedback, medications and surgery. In New Zealand, Kegel exercises and lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment for urinary incontinence, Hay-Smith said. Patients are referred to physiotherapists or nurses trained in continence management, which may combine exercises with other forms of treatment, depending on the diagnosis.

Hay-Smith said that many women she sees say they tried Kegel exercises, but are actually not doing them right. "But by the time I have been through a full clinical history and physical examination, taught a correct pelvic floor muscle contraction and tailored a program to my assessment findings, many women say they clearly haven’t been doing [Kegels] in the past -- they only thought they were."

Jean Hay-Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cochrane.org
http://www.cfah.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>