Research shows that 1 in 3 women who have been pregnant or had a baby may experience incontinence; and 6% of first-time mothers and 2% of women who have had a vaginal birth will experience a third or fourth-degree tear.  Both of which can have a considerable impact on their quality of life.

Some of the funds raised by Consultant Gynaecologist Andrew Pooley and Surgeon Adrian Fawcett during the Land’s End to John O’Groats (LeJog) cycle in August 2022, along with a grant from the Grace Trust, have funded the purchase of a biofeedback machine.

This machine can be used to help patients recover the strength of their pelvic floor muscles, by treating urinary and stress incontinence, a prolapsed uterus, bladder or bowel or anyone with weak pelvic floor muscles which are causing problems or pain.

Kingston Hospital’s, Pelvic Health Physiotherapist Team Lead, Lara Maddison explained:

The biofeedback machine allows patients to see how their pelvic floor muscles are working on a screen, which enables them to improve their technique and gives them the confidence that they are performing their exercises correctly.  This helps them to stick to their rehabilitation programme and optimise their recovery.’

Since the arrival of the machine in February, Lara has treated one woman who had been experiencing urinary incontinence since the delivery of her first child and who had got progressively worse during her third pregnancy.  The patient said how watching her movements on the screen had made the exercises click in her brain.  She has now achieved her goal of returning to running and has been discharged.

The purchasing of the machine is part of Kingston Hospital’s objective to become the maternity hospital of choice for South-West London. Consultant Gynaecologist Andrew Pooley said:

We are delighted to help provide this valuable piece of equipment, that will greatly improve our ability to help patients recover from various forms of difficult childbirth. It is rewarding to hear that the device is now in use, helping our patients hopefully get back to their normal lives.

Four physiotherapists have been trained to use the biofeedback machine which will enable them to deliver more inventive and effective treatment packages for patients with the use of the machine’s interactive programmes and games.