International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 1223–1231 | Cite as

Effect of pelvic floor muscle exercises in the treatment of urinary incontinence during pregnancy and the postpartum period

  • Ayten DincEmail author
  • Nezihe Kizilkaya Beji
  • Onay Yalcin
Original Article


Introduction and hypothesis

The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of pelvic floor muscle exercises on urinary incontinence during pregnancy and the postpartum period.


The study was carried out on 80 pregnant women (study group, 40 subjects; control group, 40 subjects).The study group was trained by the researcher on how to do the pelvic floor muscle exercises. Both groups were evaluated for pelvic floor muscle strength and urinary complaints in their 36th to 38th week of pregnancy and postpartum sixth to eighth week.


The study group had a significant decrease in urinary incontinence episodes during pregnancy and in the postpartum period, and their pelvic floor muscle strength increased to a larger extent. Control group had an increase in the postpartum muscle strength and decrease in the incontinence episodes in the postpartum period.


Pelvic floor muscle exercises are quite effective in the augmentation of the pelvic floor muscle strength and consequently in the treatment of urinary incontinence.


Pelvic floor muscle exercise Pregnancy Postpartum Urinary incontinence 



This work was supported by the Research Fund of the University of Istanbul (project number T-126/11112002). We would like to thank to Associate Professor Halim Issever and Professor Dr. Rian Disci who are members of the School of Medicine in Istanbul University for their contributions in the statistical analyses.

Conflicts of interest



  1. 1.
    Smith KM, Drutz HP (2002) The effect of pregnancy and childbirth on the lower urinary tract and pelvic floor. In: Harold PD, Senders HN, Dioment E (eds) Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive pelvic surgery. Springer, London, pp 69–78Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mørkved S, Bø K (1999) Prevalence of urinary incontinence during pregnancy and postpartum. Int Urogyn J 10:394–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sampselle CM, Miller JM, Mims BL, DeLancey JOL, Ashton-Miller JA, Antonakos CL (1998) Effect of pelvic muscle exercise on transient incontinence during pregnancy and after birth. Obstet Gynecol 91(3):406–412PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mørkved S, Bø K, Schei B, Salvesen KÅ (2003) Pelvic floor muscle training during pregnancy to prevent urinary incontinence - a single blind randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol 101:313–319PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Reilly ETC, Freeman RM, Waterfield MR, Waterfield AE, Steggles P, Pedlar F (2002) Prevention of postpartum stress incontinence in primigravidae with increased bladder neck mobility: a randomised controlled trial of antenatal pelvic floor exercises. BJOG 109:68–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Woldringh C, van den Wijngaart M, Albers-Heitner P, Lycklama A, Nijehold AA, Lagro-Janssen T (2007) Pelvic floor muscle is not effective in women with UI in pregnancy: a randomised controlled trial. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct Apr 18(4):383–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mørkved S, Bø K (1996) The effect of post natal-exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 75:382–385PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dougherty MC, Walters M (1993) Genuine Stress Incontinence: Nonsurgical treatment. In: Walters MD, Karram MM (eds) Clinical urogynecology. Mosby, St. Louis, pp 163–181Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ostergard DR, Bend AE (1996) Urogynecology and uodynamic theory and practice. William & Wilkins, London, pp 51–269Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Medin K, Wallace (1992) Pelvic muscle training manual. National Association for Continence (NAFC), ISBN 91-7584-117-7Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Adams C, Frahm J (1995) Sounders manuel of physical therapy practice. Saunders, Philadelphia, pp 459–504Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cardozo L, Cutner A (1997) Lower urinary tract symptoms in pregnancy. Br J Urol 8(supply 19):14–23Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Viktrup L, Lose G, Rollf M, Barfoet K (1993) The frequency of urological symptoms during pregnancy and delivery in primipara. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Disfunct 4:27–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Glazener CM, Herbison GP, Wilson PD, MacArtur C, Lang Gordon D, Harry G, Grand A (2001) Conservative management of persistent postnatal urinary and faecal incontinence: randomised controlled trial. BMJ 323:593–596PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wilson PD, Herbison GP (1998) A randomized controlled trial of pelvic floor muscle exercises to treat postnatal urinary incontinence. Int Urogynecol J 9:257–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mørkved S, Bø K (2000) Effect of postpartum pelvic floor muscle training in prevention and treatment of urinary incontinence: a one-year follow up. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 107:1022–1028Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wilson PD, Herbison RM, Herbison GP (1996) Obstetric practice and the prevalence of urinary incontinence three months after delivery. Br J Obstet Gynecol 103:154–161Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cardozo L (1997) Urogynecology the King's approach. Pearson Professional, London, pp 417–442Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Cutner A, Cardozo L, Bennes CJ (1991) Assessment of urinary symptoms in early pregnancy. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 98:1283–1286PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    SL S, Kerr-Wilson R, Grant Horris V (1980) The incidence of urological symptoms in normal pregnancy. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 87:897–900Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ayten Dinc
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Nezihe Kizilkaya Beji
    • 2
  • Onay Yalcin
    • 3
  1. 1.Sisli Health High SchoolIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecologic Nursing, Florence Nightingale College of NursingIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyIstanbul University Istanbul Faculty of MedicineIstanbulTurkey
  4. 4.Sisli Saglık Meslek LisesiIstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations