Fri 26, Aug 2016
Forty-six volunteers were recruited for the study, published in the March Journal of the North American Menopausal Society. All the women were menopausal, had osteoporosis and were affected by urge or stress incontinence or both.
Half received weekly physical therapy classes incorporating pelvic floor muscle exercises for 12 weeks, while the remaining women were counselled on diet, medications and the value of physical activity that would improve their bone density. They were not given physical therapy classes.
At the end of 12 weeks, the women who received the physical therapy classes had a 75 per cent reduction in leakage episodes. There was no change in the other group.
One year later, the women in the physical therapy group had maintained or improved their leakage rates, while the other group’s incontinence stayed the same or worsened.
Study author Dr Chantal Dumolin said it was the first study that had evaluated the use of pelvic floor muscle training for women who had both osteoporosis and stress and/or urge incontinence.
Dr Dumolin said the main message for women with osteoporosis is to do pelvic floor exercises, even if they don’t have incontinence, because fractures of the lumbar spine cause their bodies to be slumped, which puts more pressure on the pelvic floor.