Impact of Pelvic Floor Muscle Training on Sexual function of women with Urinary Incontinence and a comparison of electrical stimulation versus standard treatment


AIMS - To evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of electric stimulation plus standard pelvic floor muscle training compared to standard pelvic floor muscle training alone in women with urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction.


METHODS - Single centre two arm parallel group randomized controlled trial conducted in a Teaching hospital in England. Participants were women presenting with urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction. The interventions compared were electric stimulation versus standard pelvic floor muscle training. Outcome measures included Prolapse and Incontinence Sexual function Questionnaire (PISQ) physical function dimension at post-treatment (primary); other dimensions of PISQ, SF-36; EQ-5D, EPAQ, resource use, adverse events and cost-effectiveness (secondary outcomes).


RESULTS - 114 women were randomized (Intervention n = 57; Control group n = 57). 64/114 (56%) participants had valid primary outcome data at follow-up (Intervention 30; Control 34). The mean PISQ-PF dimension scores at follow-up were 33.1 (SD 5.5) and 32.3 (SD 5.2) for the Intervention and Control groups respectively; with the Control group having a higher (better) score. After adjusting for baseline score, BMI, menopausal status, time from randomization and baseline oxford scale score the mean difference was −1.0 (95% CI: −4.0 to 1.9; P = 0.474).  There was no differences between the groups in any of the secondary outcomes at follow-up. Within this study, the use of electrical stimulation was cost-effective with very small incremental costs and quality adjusted life years (QALYs).


CONCLUSIONS - In women presenting with urinary incontinence in conjunction with sexual dysfunction, physiotherapy is beneficial to improve overall sexual function. However no specific form of physiotherapy is beneficial over another.

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2017 Jun 19. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13183.