Biofeedback takes information about something happening in the body and presents it in a way that you can see or hear and understand. Getting on a scale to check your weight or having your blood pressure taken are very simple examples of biofeedback, which can be used to measure any body response such as heart rate or muscle contraction and relaxation. The measurement can be displayed on a computer screen or heard as a tone and used to learn about a subtle body function.
Two small sensors are placed with a sticky pad on either side of your anus, where the pelvic floor muscles are close to the skin. These can be placed under your loose clothing. Another set of sensors is placed across the abdomen. The sensors around the anus are connected to a computer screen and display a graph of your muscles as they are being exercised. Since many women incorrectly use their stomach muscles when doing pelvic floor exercises, the sensors on the abdomen display a computerized graph to show you when you are using these muscles instead of those on the pelvic floor. The graphs also are helpful in measuring your growth in strength between biofeedback visits.
Biofeedback sessions are generally 30 minutes. The average number of sessions is four, but a few more or less may be needed to achieve the best results. Visits are scheduled every two to three weeks. Since biofeedback is a learning tool, it is important to practice pelvic floor exercises every day at home as well.