Pelvic Muscle Exercises/Kegels

Pelvic Muscle Exercises and Kegels (pdf)

Exercising your pelvic muscles faithfully every day will help strengthen the muscles that prevent leakage and help prevent progression of 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.

Exercise

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.

Where

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.

When

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.

How long

Improvement may be seen in three or four weeks.  Leakage will become less.  These exercises help improve and maintain your bladder control.  You must do them faithfully every day.

Helpful Hints

  • 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.

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