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J Korean Acad Nurs. 2013 Jun;43(3):420-30. doi: 10.4040/jkan.2013.43.3.420.

[Effect of Kegel exercise to prevent urinary and fecal incontinence in antenatal and postnatal women: systematic review].

[Article in Korean]

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School of Nursing, Pai Chai University, Daejeon, Korea.



The aim of this study was to review the literature to determine whether intensive pelvic floor muscle training during pregnancy and after delivery could prevent urinary and fecal incontinence.


Randomized controlled trials (RCT) of low-risk obstetric populations who had done Kegel exercise during pregnancy and after delivery met the inclusion criteria. Articles published between 1966 and 2012 from periodicals indexed in Ovid Medline, Embase, Scopus, KoreaMed, NDSL and other databases were selected, using the following keywords: 'Kegel, pelvic floor exercise'. The Cochrane's Risk of Bias was applied to assess the internal validity of the RCT. Fourteen selected studies were analyzed by meta-analysis using RevMan 5.1.


Fourteen RCTs with high methodological quality, involving 6,454 women were included. They indicated that Kegel exercise significantly reduced the development of urinary and fecal incontinence from pregnancy to postpartum. Also, there was low clinical heterogeneity.


There is some evidence that for antenatal and postnatal women, Kegel exercise can prevent urinary and fecal incontinence. Therefore, a priority task is to develop standardized Kegel exercise programs for Korean pregnant and postpartum women and make efficient use of these programs.


Fecal incontinence; Meta-analysis; Pelvic floor muscle training; Urinary incontinence

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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