Research we're watching
Pelvic floor training by physical therapists can help women reduce stress incontinence—leakage of urine when they exercise, laughs, cough, or sneeze. Swedish researchers wanted to determine whether such training works when it's delivered through Tät, a smartphone app developed for that purpose.
The researchers studied 123 women who had at least one episode of stress incontinence per week. They randomly assigned 62 to use the app and 61 to continue to use whatever method they were employing to deal with stress incontinence. The women evaluated their symptoms using standardized questionnaires at the beginning and end of the three-month study.
Among the app group, 98% were regularly performing pelvic exercises by the end of the study. About 90% of that group reported improvements in symptoms, compared with 20% of the control group. The group using the app also reported a reduction in the average number of incontinence episodes, from three to one per week. The results were published online Sept. 9, 2016, by Neurourology and Urodynamics.
If you'd like to try Tät and have an Android phone, you can download it from Google Play. Pelvic Floor First, an untested but highly rated pelvic-floor training app developed by the Continence Foundation of Australia, is available for iPhone and Android phones. Both are free.