Pelvic Floor Exercises …key to reducing the cost of NHS incontinence care

Pelvic Floor Exercises …key to reducing the cost of NHS incontinence care

We all know we should be doing them (at least the ladies) but even when you do them religiously many people end up wondering whether they are doing them "right". Around one third of women have urinary incontinence – accidental leakage of urine - and the cost to the NHS providing treatment for incontinence is rising.  So it makes sense to ensure that women (and men) do pelvic floor exercises and that the exercises actually improve the incontinence condition. Reduce the medical time, the cost of incontinence pads and incontinence pants and improve quality of life – it's a no brainer!  However, the data apparently does not exist relating to how intensive the pelvic floor exercises have to be to deliver improvement and in addition women are often not sure as to whether they are doing the exercises in the correct and effective manner. A research team at Glasgow Caledonian University is running a research project into whether pelvic floor exercises using bio feedback can improve results for women with stress or mixed urinary incontinence.  Bio feedback is a machine that has a probe that is inserted into the vagina so that women on the trial can see on a monitor whether the right muscles are being exercised.  Two groups will undertake the exercise regime and one group will also use the bio feedback.  Costs of delivering the treatments will be monitored alongside the improvements in incontinence conditions – hopefully providing a strong statistical grounding for future decisions about funding incontinence products and treatments versus delivering exercise programmes.  As it seems a bit fiddly it will also be interesting to see whether the trial encounters any issues with people simply finding it too much of a chore. You can get more information about the trial on http://www.hta.ac.uk/project/2986.asp.  We will watch out for results when they are published. For more information on how to do pelvic floor exercises correctly please visit our Managing Your Incontinence section online. Best wishes Incontinence UK Team www.incontinenceuk.co.uk
8 November 2013