Magnetic Stimulation Shows Promising Results for Treatment of Urinary Incontinence
The problem of urinary incontinence (UI) is becoming more common due to the rising elderly population and the trend of rising prevalence of urinary incontinence with ageing. Deciding on a conservative or surgical treatment approach depends predominantly on the type and severity of UI and comorbidities. A recent study suggests that urinary incontinence improved after treatment with magnetic stimulation. The study findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine on November 08, 2021.
Magnetic stimulation (MS) is a technology introduced in 1998 that has been used for stimulating the pelvic floor muscles. MS has been investigated as an alternative treatment to electrical stimulation in neurology. It is offered as a treatment for UI, although weak evidence of the short-term and long-term effects has been found in systematic reviews. However, the current European Association of Urology recommends against treating UI or overactive bladder (OAB) with magnetic stimulation (strength of recommendation = strong). To further evaluate this, researchers of the Ljubljana University Medical Center, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, conducted a study to assess and analyze the effectiveness of MS in the treatment of urinary incontinence. They also performed a systematic review to combine and compare results with results from their clinical study.
The clinical study was a prospective non-randomized study, carried out at the Ljubljana University Medical Center's Gynecology Division. The researchers included a total of 82 female patients, irrespective of their UI type.
The study was carried out in 3 stages. In the first stage, the patients completed a questionnaire adapted to the internationally validated ICIQ-UI SF questionnaire, which provides a subjective assessment of UI problems. In the second stage, MS treatment was carried out with 10 therapy sessions on MS and the third stage included a checkup 3 months after the treatment was completed, during which the patients completed the same questionnaire once again (as before the treatment).
Key findings of the study were:
- Upon analysis, the researchers found that UI improved after treatment with MS.
- They noted that the ICIQ-UI SF score improved in patients regardless of the type of UI.
- However, they observed the greatest decrease in post-treatment assessment ICIQ-UI SF scores in patients with stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
The authors concluded, "Based on the findings described above, it can be concluded that MS is a successful non-invasive conservative method for treating UI. Future studies are necessary, all of which should include a large sample size, a control group, an optimal research protocol, pre-treatment analyses, standardization, and longer follow-ups."
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