Hypopressive technique versus pelvic floor muscle training for postpartum pelvic floor rehabilitation: A prospective cohort study
Aims: Abdominal hypopressive technique (AHT) is gaining popularity as an alternative to pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) during postpartum. Although, there is no solid evidence for its recommendation. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational cohort study in a university hospital with 105 primiparae who performed a two-month PFMT or AHT program. The aim was to compare the effectiveness of both treatments in terms of morphofunctional changes in 3D transperineal ultrasound, manometry, dynamometry, and differences in urinary incontinence symptoms (ICIQ-IU-SF) and satisfaction. Results: The average change in levator ani muscle was 1.2 mm higher in AHT group vs PFMT (95% confidence interval [CI], -2.2 to -0.2; P = .017). No statistically significant differences were shown in maximal strength changes between groups. After AHT, basal tone change was 63.0 g/cm(2) higher than PFMT (95% CI, -129 to 2.9; P = .06). A statistically significant reduction in ICIQ-IU-SF was observed after both treatments [(PFMT, -0.8 points; 95% CI, -1.4 to -0.1; P = .015), (AHT, -0.7 points; 95% CI, -1.3 to -0.1; P = .018]. AHT showed a higher median satisfaction score than PFMT (P = .004). Conclusions: This preliminary study is the first that analyses the effect of AHT vs PFMT during postpartum. The results suggest a higher improve for AHT in levator muscle thickness and satisfaction compared to PFMT. These must be considered with caution due to the limitations of the study. Further randomized clinical trials about both techniques during postpartum are required.