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Posted by on Jan 12, 2019 in Urinary incontinence | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study looked at the effectiveness of yoga for female urinary incontinence. It concluded that yoga can help stress and mixed urinary incontinence. 

Some background

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is urine leakage when there is pressure on the bladder. It is often observed when a patient coughs, sneezes or exercises. SUI happens as a result of weak muscles around the bladder. These muscles hold urine in. Urge incontinence is a sudden urge to urinate that can lead to urine leakage. Mixed urinary incontinence is a mix of stress and urge incontinence. All of these types of urinary incontinence can have a very negative impact on quality of life. 

Urinary incontinence can be treated by pelvic floor exercises, drug therapy, pessaries (to support the walls of the bladder) or nerve stimulation. Surgery can also be an option when these treatments do not work. Surgery however, can carry risk of complications or can be unsuccessful. 

Yoga has been used in the management of UI. It does not pose the risk of complications and side effects like surgery and medication for UI. 

Methods & findings

56 women were included in the study. All women were over 50 years old. Participants could not have completed incontinence yoga before. These women were divided into two groups. Group 1 took part in twice weekly yoga classes and one at home yoga practice. Group 2 acted as a control (a group with no effect for comparison). Group 2 took part in a non-specific muscle stretching and strengthening program. Patients completed the regimen for 3 months. Patients kept a bladder diary over the 3 months. Patients also completed questionnaires on incontinence symptoms.

50 women completed the study. 89% of the yoga group and 87% of the non-yoga group completed at least 80% of group classes. Mixed incontinence decreased by 76% in the yoga group and 56% in the non-yoga group, over 3 months. Stress incontinence decreased 61% in the yoga group and 35% in the non-yoga group over 3 months. Urge incontinence decreased by 30% in the yoga group and 17% in the non-yoga group. However, this result was not significant. Questionnaires showed similar improvements in incontinence symptoms in both groups. 48 complications occurred within the study. Most of these complications were muscle injuries or symptoms. No serious complications occurred. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that yoga is effective and safe for incontinence treatment in women. 

The fine print

Patients had to stop taking incontinence medication for 3 months. This may affect some patient's quality of life. 

What’s next?

To learn more about the benefits of yoga for female incontinence, contact your doctor. 

Published By :

American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Date :

Jan 01, 2019

Original Title :
A group-based yoga program for urinary incontinence in ambulatory women: feasibility, tolerability, and change in incontinence frequency over 3 months in a single-center randomized trial.
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