Exercising your pelvic muscles faithfully every day will help strengthen the muscles that prevent leakage and/or help prevent progression of your pelvic organ prolapse. These muscles are located in the lower pelvic area and help support the pelvic organs. You can feel these muscles by tightening the rectum as if you are holding back gas.
Kegel Exercises: Contract your pelvic floor muscles for three seconds, then relax the muscles for three seconds. Do this 10-15 times, several times a day. Although shown here while lying down, these exercises can be done during a variety of daily activities, such as sitting in a meeting, while stopped in your car at a traffic light or when talking on the phone.
Identify the correct muscle by imagining that you are trying to prevent the passing of gas. Keep your abdomen, hips and buttocks relaxed. Try to see if you can successfully squeeze and hold this muscle for 5 seconds while continuing to breathe. Then relax for 5 seconds. See if you can repeat this 10 times in a row, 3 times a day.
You can do these exercises when and where you choose. For example, you can do them while you are sitting at home or at work, in the car, in bed, or while standing in line at stores etc. When done properly, no one can see you doing them.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Do check to make sure you are using the correct muscle. Put your hand on your stomach, buttocks, or thigh. If you feel movement, you are using the wrong muscle.
- Don’t cross your legs during exercises.
- Don’t do the exercises with a full bladder or while you are voiding.
- Don’t strain. These exercises are not strenuous. If you develop any aches, you are not doing them correctly.
Be sure to contract/tighten this muscle if you are going to do any activity which would make you leak, such as coughing, lifting, sneezing, standing, or walking.
Improvement may be seen in three or four weeks. Leakage will become less. These exercises are to improve and maintain your bladder control. You must do this faithfully daily.
- Do your Kegels as often as you possible. The more you do them, the faster you’ll feel the results.
- Pick an activity you do often as a reminder. For instance, do your Kegels every time you sit down.
- Tighten your pelvic floor before you sneeze, get up from a chair, cough, laugh, or lift. This protects your pelvic floor from injury and can help prevent urine leakage.
This page was last modified on 5/11/2012