Efficacy of pelvic floor muscle training in women with overactive bladder syndrome: a systematic review

  • Silvia Monteiro
  • Cassio Riccetto
  • Angélica Araújo
  • Laryssa Galo
  • Nathália Brito
  • Simone Botelho
Review Article


Introduction and hypothesis

Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) in reducing overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms in women.


Searches were performed at MEDLINE, PubMed, Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), Scielo, and Central Cochrane Library PubMed until January 2017. Controlled trials were researched by two independent reviewers. Eligible studies were restricted to random and controlled clinical trials that investigated the effectiveness of PFMT in decreasing OAB symptoms. Qualitative methodology was evaluated using the PEDro scale. Data was analyzed and interpreted qualitatively.


The final search retrieved eight studies (n = 1161 women with urgency symptoms), which were published between 2002 and 2016. The methodological scores varied between 4 and 7 in the PEDro scale. PFMT, with the objective of controlling urgent micturition, demonstrated improvements in quality of life in women with OAB. Most data in this revision came from small- to moderate-sized trials, with different and inconsistent outcome measures, which could have impacted the end results.


The literature regarding the effectiveness of PFMT in OAB remains heterogeneous and inconclusive.


Overactive detrusor Urinary bladder Urinary incontinence Urge Urinary bladder Overactive Exercise and exercise therapy 





Bladder training


PFMT + BT: pelvic floor muscle training and combined pelvic floor rehabilitation


Descritores em Ciências da Saúde, Health Science descriptors


Detrusor overactivity


Drug therapy


Functional electrical stimulation


International classification of functioning, disability and health


International Continence Society


Incontinence Quality of Life Questionnaire


Incontinence Severity Index


King’s Health Questionnaire


Medical Subject Headings of the National Library of Medicine


Mixed urinary incontinence


Overactive bladder


Pelvic floor muscle(s)


Pelvic floor muscle training


Physiotherapy Evidence Database


Patient’s Perception of Intensity of Urgency Scale


Randomized controlled trials


Short-Form Health Survey


Stress urinary incontinence


Urinary incontinence


Urgency urinary incontinence


Vaginal cone


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest


Supplementary material

192_2018_3602_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais– PUC-Minas)Belo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.State University of Campinas (Universidade Estadual de Campinas – UNICAMP)CampinasBrazil
  3. 3.Federal University of Alfenas (Universidade Federal de Alfenas – UNIFAL-MG)AlfenasBrazil
  4. 4.UroFisioterapia Laboratory of the Postgraduate Program in Rehabilitation SciencesFederal University of Alfenas - UNIFAL/MGAlfenasBrazil

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