Simple test of pelvic muscle contraction during pelvic examination: Correlation to surface electromyography
The objective of this work was to evaluate the utility of a "Kegel" contraction test in a primary care setting. Fifty-seven adult women completed a questionnaire, underwent pelvic examination, "Kegel" assessment, and measurement of same by vaginal sensor electromyography. Thirty-seven underwent repeat evaluations within 4 weeks. Inter- and intra-rater reliability of digital scale, intra-rater reliability for sEMG measurement, correlation between raters and sEMG, and correlation between scale scores and sEMG with history and pelvic exam were determined. Fifty-six percent were pre-menopausal, 44% post-menopausal. Urinary (62%) and rectal (37%) dysfunction were reported. Inter-rater reliability, intra-observer reproducibility for both raters and sEMG measurements, and correlation between raters and sEMG were significant (P< 0.05). Comparison of continence status and digital scores showed scores =4 were more frequently associated with reported urinary incontinence (P<0.05). sEMG data also correlated to hormonal status and parity (P < 0.05). This digital scale is a useful assessment of "Kegel" contraction, correlating well to sEMG vaginal sensor readings and self-reported overall urinary continence status. Neurourol. Urodynam. 18:603-612, 1999.