Postpartum women often find themselves coping with the discomforts of incontinence. To determine whether targeted training could help, Polish researchers at Gdansk University evaluated the effects of adding pelvic-floor muscle education and training to a prenatal high-/low-impact exercise program.

Investigators compared reports from 133 pregnant women who attended this training program from the second trimester of pregnancy through birth, three times a week, with feedback from 127 women in a control group who received no training. All subjects provided details about the impact of incontinence on their lives 2 months after birth and 1 year postpartum.

Data analysis showed that participants who followed the high-low program and received pelvic-floor education reported significantly less impact on their lives from incontinence than the control group. Between the two assessments, training group women experienced a 38% decrease in symptoms compared with a 20% decrease among women in the control group.

The conclusion: Adding pelvic-floor education and training may help women continue high-intensity exercise and reduce postnatal urinary incontinence. The study appeared in Medicine (2020; 99 [6], e18874).

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