PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES GOOD FOR MEN TOO

Issue date: 26 June 2003


ISSUE DATE: 26/06/03

Pelvic floor exercises for men have been found to be highly effective in restoring erectile function according to recently published research. Research at the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University of the West of England, Bristol, shows that pelvic floor exercises result in the same overall improvement rate seen in a large trial of men taking Viagra.

55 men with an average age of 59 years who had experienced erectile dysfunction for six months or more took part in the trial, based at the Somerset Nuffield Hospital, Taunton. Dr Grace Dorey, who led the research, found that 40% of these men regained normal function, 35.5% improved, whilst 25.5% failed to improve. She also found that men 65.5% of men with erectile dysfunction also had a dribble of urine after urinating and that this embarrassing condition improved dramatically using pelvic floor muscle exercises.

The pelvic floor exercises were taught by Dr Grace Dorey who is a Physiotherapy Extended Scope Practitioner in Continence at North Devon District NHST Hospital, Barnstaple and Specialist Continence Physiotherapist at the Somerset Nuffield Hospital, Taunton and Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of the West of England, Bristol. The men were given 5 weekly sessions of these exercises with biofeedback and assessed at 3 and 6 months and practised daily home exercises.

The findings will be published in a textbook for health professionals entitled ‘Pelvic floor muscle exercises for erectile dysfunction and post-micturition dribble’. Grace has also written a textbook entitled ‘Conservative treatment of male urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction’ and a self-help guide entitled Use it or Lose it! for men to follow.

This research was part of Grace’s PhD studies and led to the Award of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Grace, who has just won a prestigious award from the International Continence Society (UK) for the presentation of the best scientific research, commented:

“The results show clearly that pelvic floor exercises can be highly beneficial for those men with the motivation and determination to perform them. Now I am intending to raise awareness of the availability of an effective alternative to drug therapy for men experiencing erectile dysfunction. I am planning to spend the next year disseminating my research findings with a series of lectures nationally and internationally.”

This year Grace has been invited to present her research findings to a group of international physiotherapists at the International Continence Society in Florence and next year she has been invited to Vancouver to lecture to Canadian Physical Therapists.

-ENDS-

Editor’s notes

1. The full name of the research project is: Pelvic floor muscle exercises and manometric biofeedback for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and post-micturition dribble: a randomised controlled trial with cross-over parallel arm.

2. The Viagra trial was undertaken by: Goldstein I, Lue TF, Padma-Nathan H, Rosen RC, Steers WD, Wicker PA for the Sildenafil Study Group (1998) Oral sildenafil in the treatment of erectile dysfunction New England Journal of Medicine 338: 1397-1404

3. The research team, led by Dr Grace Dorey, were Mr Mark Speakman, Professor Roger Feneley, Dr Margaret Miers, Dr Annette Swinkels and Professor Chris Dunn, all from the Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.

4. The publication of Grace’s thesis ‘Pelvic floor exercises for erectile dysfunction and post- micturition dribble’ will be available shortly from Whurr Publishers Ltd 19B Compton Terrace, London N1 2UN Tel: 020 7359 5979.

5. The textbook Conservative Treatment of Male Urinary Incontinence and Erectile Dysfunction is available from Whurr Publishers Ltd 19B Compton Terrace, London
N1 2UN £19.50 + 1.75p p&p Tel: 020 7359 5979.

6. The self-help book for men entitled Use it or lose it! is available from NEEN Healthcare Books, Old Pharmacy Yard, Church Street, Dereham, Norfolk £5.95 + 70p p&p Tel: 01362 698966.

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