Why and how should I strengthen my pelvic floor?

  • The pelvic floor is a group of muscles rather like a hammock, stretching from the pubis to the coccyx. It supports the organs inside the lower abdomen. This set of muscles has a key role in controlling the bladder, the sphincters (circular muscles) and movement through the intestines. It needs to have good tone for continence.

    • age-related loss of muscle tone;
    • lack of exercise;
    • obesity;
    • surgery on the lower abdomen.

    Keeping your pelvic floor toned will give you better bladder control. As with all muscles, the message is “use it or lose it”!

      Here is an exercise to do at home every day, to strengthen your pelvic floor.
    • Sit with your back straight, or lie down. Your abdomen and buttock muscles must be relaxed.
    • Now imagine that you are trying not to pass wind or diarrhoea: for this, you squeeze various muscles of the pelvic floor that close the sphincters. These are the muscles that need strengthening.
    • Squeeze (the base of your penis should lift slightly).
    • Keep squeezing for 5 seconds.
    • Relax for 10 seconds.
    • Start again.

    Repeat this exercise several times every day. After two or three weeks you should feel your muscles getting stronger.

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