Evidence for the Effectiveness of Pelvic Floor Muscle Training in the Treatment and Antenatal Prevention of Female Urinary Incontinence
The purpose of the first part of this chapter is to review the evidence for the effectiveness of PFMT as a treatment for urinary incontinence in women, and discuss the implications for clinical practice. It is questioned whether PFMT is better than no treatment or control treatment, whether one approach to PFMT is better than another, and what the factors are that might affect treatment outcome. The second part of this chapter reviews the evidence for the effectiveness of antepartum PFMT for the prevention and treatment of urinary incontinence. It is considered whether PFMT during pregnancy can prevent antepartum or postpartum urinary incontinence in women without prior symptoms, and whether PFMT during pregnancy is an effective treatment for existing urinary incontinence. Because questions about the effectiveness of an intervention are best addressed in randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the chapter summarizes the evidence from existing systematic reviews of RCTs of PFMT.
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