Pelvic floor muscle strength measurement and stress incontinence

Prior to the course

Patient A, a lady born in 1931, had been suffering from urinary incontinence for 30 years. She underwent two operations, which had been successful, but were effective for only a short period of time. She weighed more than 100 kg and had deep vein thrombosis when – following the advice of her doctor, who did not want to operate on her for a third time – she started to attend the group sessions. She claimed the pelvic floor exercises were not useful for her, as she practiced stopping the flow of urine and she regularly “clenched” as well. The doctor explained her that the Pelvic Floor Education Programme is more complete and cannot be compared to the exercises she used to carry out.

The graph on the left shows the results before training, after the medical examination. The increase on the left-hand side of the graph in the picture is so prominent because the lady performed the movement incorrectly. When she performed the movement correctly, she could exert a pressure of 10 watercm on average, which indicates a significantly weak muscle. The lady had worked as a primary school teacher until she retired and she experienced great inconvenience due to her problem.

After 10 weeks of practicing

The lady had completely recovered from the stage III stress urinary incontinence. She used to wear the largest available incontinence pad and after 10 weeks of exercising, she apparently increased her vaginal strength. She reached the maximum measurement limit of the machine, able to clench her muscles so strongly that the machine was not able to further measure the strength; the threshold can clearly be seen on the graph. This elderly lady gained great strength. The muscles can be strengthened at any age, but the earlier training starts the better.