Randomized trial of mechanotherapy for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence in women

Nissrine Nakib, Suzette Sutherland, Kevin Hallman, Marcus Mianulli, David R Boulware

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) presents as unintentional urine leakage associated with activities. It significantly affects quality of life (QoL) and is the most common type of incontinence in women. Current treatment options, particularly non-surgical therapies, are lacking. Objective: To assess the efficacy of mechanotherapy provided by the Flyte® intra-vaginal device during pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT). Design: This was a randomized, controlled, double-blinded trial. Materials and methods: Flyte is a repeat use device for conditioning and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles (PFMs). It provides two-part mechanotherapy. Part 1 is the stretching and preloading of the PFM from the internal wand. Part 2 integrates mechanical pulses which elicit muscle cellular and tissue level responses that trigger cellular regeneration, improve neuromuscular facilitation and motor learning. Subjects used the device for 5 min/day for 12 weeks. Subjects (144) were randomized and evaluated at 6 and 12 weeks. Arm A (72) received both Part 1 and Part 2 mechanotherapy for 12 weeks, whereas Arm B (72) received Part 1 therapy for 6 weeks, then crossed over to full therapy. Mean age was 50, 49, respectively, prior pelvic/abdominal surgery 26%, 46%, and previous incontinence treatments 13%, 22%. The primary endpoint was 24-h pad weight (24-HR PW) at 6 weeks. Secondary endpoints were 24-HR PW at 12 weeks and QoL [International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire (ICIQ), Urinary Incontinence Quality of Life (IQOL)]. Results: Part 1 therapy had a greater than anticipated therapeutic effect. Thus, the study was underpowered to identify differences between study arms. Therefore, data were pooled to assess the effects of mechanotherapy. Twenty four-HR PW was significantly reduced at 6 weeks (p = <0.0001), with further reduction from 6 to 12 weeks (p = <0.0001). Data were stratified based on 24-HR PW severity. Significant reductions were noted in all severity groups (mild p = <0.0001, moderate p = <0.0001, severe p = <0.01). QoL was similarly improved at 6 weeks (ICIQ p = <0.0001, IQOL p = <0.0001), and 12 weeks (ICIQ p = <0.0001, IQOL p = <0.0001). Compliance was >80% at 6 weeks and 70% at 12 weeks. Conclusion: Two-part mechanotherapy significantly improved 24-HR PW and QoL across all severities of SUI. Improvements were noted in as little as 2 weeks and appeared to be sustained through 2-year follow up. Trial registration: Registered on ClinTrials.gov (NCT02954042).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Urology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2024.


  • at-home
  • intravaginal
  • mechanical transduction
  • mechanotherapy
  • non-invasive
  • pelvic floor muscle strengthening
  • urinary incontinence

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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