Studies Show Exercise Improves Urinary Incontinence

Studies Show Exercise Improves Urinary Incontinence

According to the Urology Care Foundation, more than 33 million adult Americans experience temporary or chronic urinary incontinence. Patients are often advised to perform specific pelvic floor exercises to help alleviate symptoms. Two new studies demonstrating the impact physical activity – whether through work, recreational or via an exercise app – has on improving urinary incontinence symptoms, will be presented during the 2021 American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting. These studies were also presented during a virtual press session, moderated by AUA spokesperson, Dr. Jennifer Anger. The recording of this session is now available for viewing.

Watch Briefing

Urinary incontinence, or the loss of bladder control, is a common and often embarrassing condition. The severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that's so sudden and strong that you may not make it to the bathroom in time. Though it occurs more often as people get older, urinary incontinence isn't an inevitable consequence of aging. For most people, simple lifestyle and dietary changes or medical care can treat symptoms of urinary incontinence.

Abstracts Presented

Publication # PD06-03
The Association of Physical Activity and Urinary Incontinence in Women: Results from a Multi-Year National Survey

Urinary incontinence is a significant source of morbidity among women In the United States. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can Improve muscle strength and flexibility, yet there is little literature on whether physical activity may help strengthen the pelvic floor to improve incontinence. This study seeks to examine the relationships between physical activity, both work and recreational, and urinary incontinence among women. A total of 30,213 women were included in analysis, of whom 23.15% had stress incontinence, 23.16% had urge incontinence, and 8.42% had mixed incontinence (answered "yes" to both stress and urge incontinence).

Key Findings:

A statistically significant inverse association was found between the time spent performing moderate intensity activities (both leisure and work) and all three types of urinary incontinence.
Moderate physical activity and a greater time spent participating in moderate physical activity are associated with a decreased likelihood of stress, urge and mixed incontinence in women.
This relationship holds for both recreational and work-related activity.

Publication # MP52-18
Effectiveness of App- based Yoga of Immortals Intervention in Urinary Incontinence

Yoga of Immortals (YOI) is a unique combination of specific yogic postures, breathing exercises, sound therapy, and meditation and is practiced by many for general well-being. This also targets pelvic floor muscles and focuses on the specific energy centers. The authors studied the effectiveness of YOI intervention in participants with UI of all types.

Key Findings:

Yoga of Immortals (YOI) intervention resulted in significant improvement in the mean scores of ICIQ-LUTS-QOL, ICIQ-UI-SF, frequency and severity of urinary leak, daily life activity and stress urinary incontinence.
Majority of the participants felt 'very much better' at 4 weeks on PGl-scale. YOI may be an adjunctive treatment option in those inclined towards these practices.
Being app- based, it has the added advantage of the ability to be used any time anywhere.

"These studies prove that there is a positive relationship between exercise and urinary incontinence," Dr. Anger said. "They demonstrate a therapeutic path forward without medications to help women improve their symptoms and quality of life."

These abstracts can be fully viewed online:

SOURCE American Urological Association
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