Research: SHERMAN and colleagues, D

Listed in Issue 29


SHERMAN and colleagues, Department of Clinical Investigation, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma WA 98431 USA write that one third of 450 women soldiers surveyed indicated they had problematic urinary incontinence experiences during exercise and field training . Moreover, 13.3% of those women who responded indicated that they significantly restricted fluid intake during field exercises. 5.3% indicated that urine leakage significantly impacted upon their regular duties and many more worried enough about leakage to put themselves at risk for dehydration. The authors studied whether behavioural intervention techniques useful for older people helped younger soldiers.



39 women soldiers who reported exercise-induced urinary incontinence were assessed for bladder capacity, urethral closure pressure, detrusor contraction pressure and completed a symptom questionnaire prior to and following therapy. The women were stratified by diagnosis of physical stress incontinence or mixed urge/stress incontinence and randomised into two groups. Group 1 (n=23) performed pelvic muscle exercises with urethral biofeedback for 8 weeks Group 2 (n=16) performed pelvic muscle exercises alone.


All participants improved significantly, as indicated both from patient reports and post-treatment examinations. Only five women in the biofeedback/exercise and three women in the exercise-only group needed further treatment. All women with detrusor dysfunction at the beginning of the study had normal readings at study completion.


Behavioural treatments, including exercise and biofeedback, are effective for exercise-induced urinary incontinence in female soldiers.


Sherman RA et al. Behavioral treatment of exercise-induced urinary incontinence among female soldiers. Mil Med 162(10): 690-4. Oct 1997.

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