OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of transvaginal electrical stimulation (TES) in treating urinary incontinence, and to assess the clinical improvement 6 months after ending the treatment. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial, 36 women (24 patients and 12 controls) with stress, urge or mixed urinary incontinence were chosen to use TES or placebo (identical equipment but with no electrical current). The patients had their treatment at home twice a day (20-min sessions) for 12 weeks. They completed a voiding diary and had a urodynamic study at the beginning and end of treatment. They were clinically re-evaluated after 6 months. RESULTS: The mean time of use of TES was similar in both groups (approximately 40 h); the treatment group had a significant increase in maximum bladder capacity (P < 0.02), a significant reduction in the total number of voids (over 24 h; P < 0.02), in the number of episodes of voiding urgency (P < 0.001) and, importantly, in the number of episodes of urinary incontinence (P < 0.001). At the first evaluation, after ending the treatment, 88% of the patients had a significant reduction in symptoms or went into remission. At the 6-month re-evaluation, a third of the patients required another therapeutic approach. CONCLUSION: TES is a practical alternative with few side-effects, and is effective for treating the main forms of female urinary incontinence.
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