Self-help: Pelvic Floor Exercises

Exercises can be used to help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support the bladder, uterus, and rectum. If performed regularly, pelvic floor exercises can help in both the treatment and prevention of incontinence.

You can perform pelvic floor exercises sitting, standing, or lying down. Do the exercises as often as you can, ideally for 5 minutes every hour throughout the day.

In order to identify the pelvic floor muscles, imagine that you are passing urine and have to stop suddenly midstream. The muscles that you feel tighten around your vagina, urethra, and rectum are the pelvic floor muscles. To strengthen these muscles, practise the following exercises:

  • Contract the pelvic floor muscles and hold them for 10 seconds.

  • Relax the muscles slowly.

  • Repeat 5 to 10 times, as often as you can.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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