Int J Sports Med 2023; 44(06): 397-405
DOI: 10.1055/a-1939-4798

Pelvic Floor Muscle Training In Women Practicing High-impact Sports: A Systematic Review

Fernanda Sayuri Fukuda
1   Physiotherapy, UDESC, Florianopolis, Brazil
Eliane Regina Mendoza Arbieto
2   Physiotherapy, Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil
Thuane Da Roza
3   INEGI, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
4   Department of Physiotherapy, College of Health and Sport Science, Santa Catarina State University (CEFID/UDESC), Florianópolis, Brazil
Soraia Cristina Tonon da Luz
4   Department of Physiotherapy, College of Health and Sport Science, Santa Catarina State University (CEFID/UDESC), Florianópolis, Brazil
› Author Affiliations


Urinary incontinence (UI) in female athletes can impair their quality-of-life (QoL) and reduce their participation in sports. This review aims to evaluate the effect of pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) in treating UI in women participating in high-impact sports. Furthermore, to assess the influence of PFMT on pelvic floor muscles (PFM) function and the UI impact on their QoL. For this purpose, a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-RCTs was performed. An electronic search was conducted on PubMed, EMBASE, SciELO, and Scopus. The quality of evidence was assessed using the PEDro and ROBINS-I scales. The Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT) was used to assess the quality of PFMT protocols. All studies were available in full-text including incontinent female participants who are practitioners of high-impact sports, investigating PFMT vs control groups(inactive) or undergoing other treatments. Three RCTs and two non-RCTs (104 participants) were analyzed. PFMT provided a significant improvement in UI symptoms with a reduction in the frequency (n=3) and the amount of UI (n=5). PFM function was assessed in three studies, and two found improvement in maximal contraction and one in vaginal resting pressure in favor of PFMT. None of the two studies that assessed QoL found a difference after PFMT intervention.

Publication History

Received: 12 July 2022

Accepted: 04 September 2022

Accepted Manuscript online:
08 September 2022

Article published online:
17 February 2023

© 2023. Thieme. All rights reserved.

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