Non-invasive vs Invasive Urinary Incontinence Treatments

There are many pelvic floor exerciser devices available, all with different features and benefits. But how exactly does INNOVO differ from the other pelvic floor exercisers out there?

Whatever the brand, most of pelvic floor exerciser devices available all have one uncomfortable thing in common - they all use a probe that needs to be inserted into the vagina. Some of these are “passive probes”, that don’t activate the pelvic floor muscles, and others deliver neuromuscular electrical stimulation to the pelvic floor via small electrodes on the surface of the probe.

Here's how INNOVO is different.

 INNOVO is Safe

To date, over 2.5 million INNOVO treatments delivered globally, with no serious events reported. INNOVO is completely non-invasive – there’s no probe. Instead, the hand held INNOVO controller is attached to a simple pair of shorts (similar to cycling shorts), and targeted impulses are delivered via a set of 8 integrated electrodes on the inside of the shorts to safely and effectively activate all the muscles of the pelvic floor.

In contrast, studies have shown a number of side effects when delivering stimulation to treat pelvic floor weakness via a probe inserted into the vagina. One study found that more than half of subjects who used probe-based pelvic floor toners experienced some form of side effect1. In another study nearly 1 in 5 subjects dropped out due to the side-effects associated with these devices2. Side effects include pain, bleeding, vaginal infection, vaginal irritation and urinary tract infections3.

With INNOVO, you can be confident that you are effectively activating all the muscles of the pelvic floor, with minimal risk or side effects.

INNOVO is Effective

Easy to use and comfortable to wear, INNOVO helps you safely and effortlessly strengthen and re-educate the entire network of pelvic floor muscles through gentle muscle stimulation.

Using INNOVO for just 30 minutes a day/five days a week over 12 weeks has been proven to treat bladder weakness – delivering results in as little as four weeks4.

INNOVO treats Stress, Urge & Mixed Incontinence in both women and men of all ages, and is the only non-invasive pelvic floor exerciser that targets the root cause of the problem. Use INNOVO's Stress Incontinence programme which will focus on delivering muscle strengthening stimulations to the entire network of pelvic floor muscles. And best of all, it works! A clinical study found that:

  • 80% of users saw a significant reduction in leaks after just 4 weeks4
  • 87% of users were defined as either dry or almost dry after 12 weeks25
  • 90% of users would recommend the therapy to others6

We continue to develop the clinical information supporting INNOVO®, working with leading clinicians across North America and Europe to expand the evidence in support of this pioneering technology.

Many probe-based devices do not have the same supporting clinical research. As well as identifying problems with side-effects, studies have shown probe-based muscle stimulation to be even less effective as a treatment than pelvic floor exercises7.

INNOVO is Comfortable

INNOVO has been designed to be used in the comfort of your own home, while standing, reclining or lying. Because the stimulation is delivered externally, INNOVO delivers a strong, comfortable contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, without the discomfort of inserting a vaginal probe. Simply pull on the shorts and connect the cables to get started.

Compare the gentle, non-invasive and effective stimulation delivered by INNOVO with the intrusive and uncomfortable nature of probe-based devices. Typically, lubrication must be applied to these probes to allow them to be placed directly into the vagina. Probe-based muscle stimulation is delivered via small electrodes on the surface of the probe, with a very high current density required for the treatment to be effective. This is why this type of treatment can cause discomfort, pain and bleeding.


  1. Indrekvam, S. and Hunskaar, S., 2002. Side effects, feasibility, and adherence to treatment during home‐managed electrical stimulation for urinary incontinence: A Norwegian national cohort of 3,198 women. Neurourology and urodynamics, 21(6), pp.546-552.
  2. Eder SE. Evaluation of the EmbaGYN™ pelvic floor muscle stimulator in addition to Kegel exercises for the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence: a prospective, open-label, multicenter, single-arm study. Womens Health (Lond Engl). 2014 Jan;10(1):17-27
  3. Sand P.K., Richardson D.A., Staskin D., Swift S,E Appell R,A,. Whitmore K,E., Ostergard D.R. -Pelvic floor electrical stimulation in the treatment of genuine stress incontinence:A multicenter, placebo-controlled trial. AM J OBSTET GYNECOL 1995;173:72-9
  4. Soeder S, et al, A randomised, controlled, double-blind, clinical study to compare two neuromuscular stimulator devices in female stress urinary incontinence: Effects on symptoms and quality of life. IUGA Conference 2018
  5. R. Dmochowski – Novel external electrical muscle stimulation device for the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence: randomized controlled noninferiority trial versus intravaginal electrical stimulation. ICS Conference 2018