INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: We evaluated the effect of adding pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) to a structured lifestyle advice program.
METHODS: This was a single-blinded randomized trial of women with symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse (POP) stage ≥ II. Participants were randomized to a structured lifestyle advice program with or without PFMT. Both groups received similar lifestyle advice in six separate group sessions. The combined group performed group PFMT after an individual assessment. Primary outcome was a global improvement scale at six-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes were the global scale and objective POP at three-month follow-up, symptoms and quality of life including sexuality, at three and six-month follow-up. A clinically relevant change of symptoms was defined as ≥15 %.
RESULTS: We included 109 women. Eighty-nine women (82 %) completed three months follow-up; 85 (78 %) completed six-month follow-up. At both follow-ups, significantly more women in the combined group reported improvement in the global scale. At the three-month follow-up, the combined group only had significant improvement of POP symptoms while only the lifestyle advice group had significant improvement of quality of life. Change in objective POP and sexuality was nonsignificant. The symptom score improved 17 % in the combined group and 14 % in the lifestyle advice group (P = 0.57). Significantly more women in the lifestyle advice group had sought further treatment at the six-month follow-up.
CONCLUSION: Adding PFMT to a structured lifestyle advice program gave superior results in a global scale and for POP symptoms. Overall effect of either intervention barely reached clinical relevance.