Many women present for treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) after childbirth. This systematic review describes the efficacy of treatment options for SUI initiated during the 12 months after delivery.
We conducted a systematic review to identify studies comparing treatment options for SUI initiated in the 12 months after parturition. We searched MEDLINE from inception to February 2019, using Medical Subject Heading terms related to pregnancy and urinary incontinence. Preintervention and postintervention populations were compared using analysis of variance with Fisher least significant difference method used to determine efficacy between groups. Grades for Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation system was used to categorize quality of evidence as high, moderate, low, or very low.
We double screened 4548 abstracts, identifying 98 articles for full-text review. Seven studies met the eligibility criteria and were included. Compared with a control group, the 4 interventions identified outperformed the control group (P < 0.001) using Fisher (with effect sizes noted): (1) supervised pelvic floor physical therapy (0.76), (2) electrical stimulation (0.77), (3) home physical therapy (PT) (0.44), and (4) surgery (not applicable). Based on Grades for Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation assessment, there was moderate evidence to support PT and electrical stimulation, with insufficient evidence for surgery. There were no significant differences in parity, age, or body mass index via analysis of variance. The overall strength of evidence is poor for the treatment of postpartum SUI; more data are needed to fully evaluate other treatment options.
All identified interventions demonstrated greater improvement for postpartum SUI over no treatment. Supervised PT ± electrostimulation was the most effective nonsurgical intervention.