This site is intended for health professionals only

Surgery more effective than pelvic floor exercises in stress UI

Surgery is more effective than physiotherapist-led pelvic floor exercises in women with moderate-to-severe stress urinary incontinence, according to authors of a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers randomised 460 women aged 35 and older suffering from moderate-to-severe stress urinary incontinence to :

  • pelvic floor therapy by certified pelvic floor physiotherapists or
  • mid-urethral tape surgery - the insertion of an artificial tape to support the mid urethra during physical activity.

At 12 month follow-up a subjective improvement occurred in 91% of the women who had had surgery, compared to 65% of the women who had started pelvic floor physiotherapy. In the surgery group 85% of the women were completely cured compared to 85% in the pelvic floor therapy group.

Read the full story here.

The study comes just two weeks after new NICE guidance on female urinary incontinence which recommends pelvic floor therapy - together with lifestyle advice including smoking, fluid intake, weight loss and caffeine – as first-line therapy in women with stress urinary incontinence.

  • Guideline debrief: female urinary incontinence – worth a suggested 2 CPD hours - is the ideal way to get up to speed with the new NICE guideline
    “Excellent- makes managing an extremely distressing and commonly presenting problem more logical and evidence based” Dr Hilary Kevan



Visit Pulse Reference for details on 140 symptoms, including easily searchable symptoms and categories, offering you a free platform to check symptoms and receive potential diagnoses during consultations.