Performance of Kegel’s exercise and factors influencing the practice among postnatal women at Kawempe National Referral Hospital, Kampala, Uganda
MetadataShow full item record
Introduction: Kegel’s exercises (also known as pelvic floor muscle exercises (PFMEs)) involve the voluntary contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles in order to increase their tone, strength and endurance and they help to prevent and also treat all forms of pelvic floor dysfunction during pregnancy and after childbirth. Given the low performance (ranging between 10.7% to 42.6%) of Kegel exercises by childbearing women worldwide, this study therefore was aimed at assessing the performance of Kegel’s exercises and factors influencing the practice among postnatal women in Kawempe National Referral Hospital, Kampala, Uganda. Methods: A cross sectional study where simple random sampling method was used to enroll participants and semi-structured questionnaires used to collect data from 384 postnatal women between 6 days and 12 months following childbirth at the general postnatal and immunization clinics of Kawempe National Referral Hospital. Data was checked for completeness, entered into SPSS, cleaned and analyzed. Univariate analysis was done using descriptive statistics, bivariate analysis by binary logistic regression while multivariate analysis was done by linear logistic regression. Statistical significance was predicted by p- value ≤ 0.05, the strength of association was predicted using odds ratios and 95% confidence interval. Findings are presented as texts, tables and charts. Results: In this study, 29/68 (42.6%) of respondents had ever performed PFMEs; of these, only 7 (24.1%) exhibited good performance of the exercises after child birth. There was 40.6% and 32% increase in the likelihood of ever performing PFMEs among the respondents who included family/friends and media respectively as their sources of information about PFMEs compared to those who did not include them. Conclusions and recommendations: The level of performance of PFMEs by postnatal women in this study was very low 7/384 (1.8%). There was an increased likelihood of performing these exercises among postnatal women who included family/friends and media as their sources of information about PFMEs. This indicates the need to increase awareness and to strengthen strategies and interventions at all levels including individual, health facility and policy levels to effectively improve performance of PFMEs by childbearing women in Uganda.