Dr Glazener and colleagues undertook a study in order to determine the long term effects of a conservative nurse-led intervention for postnatal urinary incontinence.
The research team designed a randomized controlled trial based in 3 centers in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
The researchers enrolled 747 women with urinary incontinence at 3 months after childbirth, and out of these, the researchers followed up 516 again at 6 years.
The research team asked participants to receive active conservative treatment (pelvic floor muscle training and bladder training) at 5, 7, and 9 months after delivery or standard care.
The researchers looked at urinary and fecal incontinence, and performance of pelvic floor muscle training.
Of 2632 women with urinary incontinence, 747 participated in the original trial.
| The intervention motivated more women to perform pelvic floor muscle training (83% v 55%)|
The researchers noted that the significant improvements relative to controls in urinary and fecal incontinence at 1 year were not found at 6 year follow up irrespective of subsequent obstetric events.
The team found that in the short term the intervention had motivated more women to perform pelvic floor muscle training (83% v 55%) but this fell to 50% in both groups in the long term.
Both urinary and fecal incontinence increased in prevalence in both groups during the study period.
Dr Glazener concluded, "The moderate short term benefits of a brief nurse-led conservative treatment of postnatal urinary incontinence may not persist, even among women with no further deliveries."
"About ¾ of women with urinary incontinence 3 months after childbirth still have this 6 years later."