Pelvic Floor Muscle Training for Urinary Incontinence with or without Biofeedback or Electrostimulation in Women: A Systematic Review

Author: Souhail Alouini1,2, Sejla Memic2, Annabelle Couillandre2,3,4
1 Center Hospitalier Regional d'Orléans, Departement of Gynecologic Surgery, 14 Avenue de L'hôpital, 45100 Orleans, France.
2 EUKCVL, Université d'Orléans, 45100 Orleans, France.
3 Laboratoire CIAMS, Université Paris-Sud, EA 4532, 91400 Orsay, France.
4 Laboratoire en Neurosciences, Physiologie et Psychologie, LINP2, Université Paris Nanterre, 92001 Nanterre, France.
Conference/Journal: Int J Environ Res Public Health
Date published: 2022 Feb 27
Other: Volume ID: 19 , Issue ID: 5 , Pages: 2789 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/ijerph19052789. , Word Count: 412

To determine the effectiveness of pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) with or without biofeedback or electrostimulation in reducing urinary incontinence and pelvic floor muscle con-traction in non-pregnant women with urinary incontinence.

The following electronic databases were searched: PubMed, Cochrane Central,, EU Clinical Trials Register, and sources from NICE, FDA, EMA, and SMC (articles only in English, 2000-2021). Search terms were: urinary incontinence, pelvic floor muscle training or exercises, biofeedback, electrostimulation. We used the PRISMA statement (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) for this systematic review. Relevant articles were selected, data were extracted, and quality was assessed. Data were extracted in predesigned form, followed by narrative synthesis.

Following the search, 15 RCTs were retrieved using the strict inclusion and exclusion criteria, assessing 2441 non-pregnant women with urinary incontinence. Of the 15 studies, 7 were low risk, 5 were medium risk, and 3 were high-risk studies. Of the 2441 patients, 970 were in PFMT, 69 were in extracorporeal magnetic innervation (ExMi) or with PFMT + BF, 30 were in electrostimulation (ES), 21 were in whole body vibration training (WBVT), 23 were in pelvic floor muscle + abdominal muscle therapy (PFM + AMT), 326 were in PFMT + biofeedback, 93 were in vaginal cones (VC), 362 were in PFMT + education, 318 were in education, and 229 were in control groups. The most often measures employed were pad tests, bladder diary, and questionnaire on the quality of life. Stress, urge and mixed urinary incontinence were studied. In all RCT, PFMT significantly reduced urinary incontinence, essentially SIU and MUI, when compared with the control group before and after treatment. Overall, out of 997 PFMT or PFMT + education patients, 504 patients (50.5%) showed improvement in urinary incontinence, and 218 became continent (21.8%) (negative pad test). In total, 62% of patients significantly reduced their urinary incontinence or cured it and improved their pelvic floor muscle contraction. All other physiotherapist techniques also significantly reduced urinary leakages, e.g., vaginal cones, biofeedback, ExMI, and WBVT when compared with the control group. There were no significant differences between these methods in reducing the severity of urinary incontinence.

PFMT alone or with bio-feedback or electrostimulation was effective in reducing urinary incontinence and improving pelvic floor muscle contraction. PFMT when compared with other interventions such as bio-feedback, VC, and WBVT did not show significant differences but was superior to the control group. RCT studies with similar parameters used for measuring the outcomes need to be included.

Keywords: biofeedback; electrostimulation; extracorporeal magnetic innervation; mixed urinary incontinence; non-pregnant; pelvic floor muscle training; stress urinary incontinence; urinary incontinence; vaginal cones; whole body vibration training.

PMID: 35270480 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19052789