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The Pelvic Floor Muscles are a group of muscles that help support the uterus, bowel and bladder and the passages that lead out of the body – the vagina from the uterus, the anus from the bowel and the urethra from the bladder.

The Pelvic Floor Muscles can weaken as a result of pregnancy and childbirth, constipation, frequent heavy lifting, being overweight, change in hormone levels at menopause or lack of general exercise. This can lead to urinary incontinence in women and men and vaginal weakness in women. If you are pregnant, performing Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises during your pregnancy and after delivery will help keep these muscles firm and toned. At menopause, the Pelvic Floor Muscles may weaken, so it will help if you have strengthened them in the years leading up to menopuase.

Stop your leaky bladder (Women)

Exercise 1. 

  1. Slowly tighten, lift and draw in the pelvic floor muscles and hold to a count of 10. This is like closing the elevator doors and lifting the elevator to the first, second and third floor then holding for a count of 10.
  2. Release down to the second, first and bottom floor slowly and rest for 10 seconds and repeat again.
  3. Repeat 10 times and try to do 10 sets a day, when you are driving, in the shower, watching TV. Whenever you have a quick few moments throughout the day.

At first, you may not be able to hold the muscles for this long, you may only be able to hold for a few seconds at a time to start, so slowly build up to a 10-second hold over several weeks.

Exercise 2.

  1. Quickly tighten the muscles around your anus, (like you are going to pass wind) and then let the muscles go.
  2. Do not bear down or squeeze your thigh, back or abdominal muscles. Breathe slowly and deeply.
  3. Once you are comfortable with these exercises, you can work the muscles more by doing them with your knees apart. Locating and tightening the right muscles.
  4. Repeat this exercise 10 times and try to do do 10 sets a day with your pelvic floor exercises above.

Stop your leaky bladder (Men)

Exercise 1. 

  1. Slowly tighten the muscles around your anus and hold to a count of 10. (Be careful to not use your abdominal, thigh or buttock muscles as these will not help you strengthen your pelvic floor).
  2. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat again. (At first, you may not be able to hold the muscles for this long, so slowly build up to a 10-second hold over several weeks.)
  3. Try to do 10 sets of 10 contractions every day.

Exercise 2.

  1. Quickly tighten, lift up and let the muscles go.
  2. Repeat this exercise 10 times and try do do 10 sets each day.
  3. Try to relax all the other muscles except the pelvic floor muscles.
  4. Do not bear down or squeeze your thigh, back or abdominal muscles. Breathe slowly and deeply.
  5. Once you are comfortable with these exercises, you can work the muscles more by doing them with your knees apart. Locating and tightening the right muscles.

 

It is important that you find and tighten the right muscles from the start. Imagine that you need to hold back gas. Squeeze and lift the rectal area in men (and vaginal area in women) without tightening the buttocks or stomach. Check yourself in a mirror or place your hands on your abdomen and buttocks to make sure that your stomach, thighs or buttocks do not move. You can also place a finger in your vagina and squeeze around it – you will feel pressure around your finger when you are using the correct muscle. Your Doctor or Nurse can explain the correct way to perform these exercises.

 

DISCLAIMER: This information is an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, nurse or Naturopath before following any medical regimen to see whether it is safe and effective for you.