Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the strength of the pelvic floor muscles after delivery by performing pelvic floor muscle exercises using the biofeedback method, with and without supporting visits and to compare with a conventional method. Further, to explore the objective measurement by EMG (electromyography) of the contracting ability of those with weakest pelvic floor muscle strength and compare the effect of the intervention.
Methods: An intervention study, where 150 recently delivered women were consecutively selected, at their first postpartum visit, into one of three groups.
Results: There was no significant difference between the three groups in pelvic floor muscle (PFM) contraction at 6-months. Analysis of a subgroup of women (n = 42), who had the poorest ability to contract their PFM with Periform®, controlled by EMG (<17.5 μV) at the first visit postpartum, showed that there was a statistical difference between group I (n = 15) and group III (n = 15) at the six month control (p = 0.010), where group III had significantly better objective results of the strength in their PFM. Significantly more women in groups II (n = 11 of 12) and III (n = 14 of 15) increased their PFM strength (p = 0.005 and 0.001), respectively.
Conclusion: Women with a poor ability to contract their PFM had better results regarding the strength of their PFM when they exercised using the biofeedback method with the Periform® instrument compared to those who exercised without it. Motivation and support from the midwife had a positive impact on the results.