Pregnant women may find that high- and low-impact aerobics supported by pelvic floor muscle exercises improve pelvic floor muscle function and prevents urinary incontinence

In January 2019 researchers from Poland published the results of their study to assess whether a structured exercise program, including high- and low-impact aerobics supported by pelvic floor muscle exercises, improved pelvic floor muscle function and prevented urinary incontinence in healthy pregnant women. 97 healthy women in uncomplicated pregnancies (average age 30 years, approximately 21 weeks’ gestation), who were able to contract their pelvic floor muscle, were included in the study.  70 women took part in a supervised exercise program including high-low impact aerobics and pelvic floor muscle exercises three times a week, with the remaining 27 acting as a control group. Pelvic floor muscle function was assessed and an Incontinence Impact Questionnaire completed at the start and at the end of the 6-week study period. Results showed that those in the exercise group experienced improved pelvic floor muscle function.  In addition, the women undertaking the exercise programme substantially improved their ability for relaxation following 3- and 10-second contractions. 

Szumilewicz A et al. High-Low Impact Exercise Program Including Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises Improves Pelvic Floor Muscle Function in Healthy Pregnant Women – A Randomized Control Trial. Front Physiol. 2019 Jan 30;9:1867 

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