The benefits of doing your pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor muscles are the muscles that connect the pubic bone (just beneath the centre of your bikini line), with your tailbone.
They act a little like a bouncy hammock to keep your bladder, bowels and womb supported and working well.
Most of the time you don’t even think about them, but sometimes these muscles stop working as well as they should (for example, after pregnancy and childbirth) and then you may start noticing some problems.
The most common one in women is stress urinary incontinence, which is the leaking of small amounts of urine during activities, such as coughing, sneezing, jumping on the trampoline or running.
Pelvic floor exercises are as important as brushing your teeth and are definitely good to do!
All women should perform pelvic floor exercises on a daily basis, preferably three times a day.
There is excellent research to show that this can help keep your pelvic floor healthy, and prevent problems such as stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
For women who experience problems – such as bladder or bowel leakage, or pelvic organ prolapse – pelvic floor muscle exercises should be practised up to six times a day.
Pelvic floor exercises are incredibly effective as a first-line treatment for a variety of bladder, bowel and pelvic floor issues, and play an important role in your sex life too!
They can take some time to get the hang of, so don’t despair if you find them difficult to do! Try practising several times a day, for a week or so, and if you are still struggling to work out what to do, then you can see a pelvic health physiotherapist to have an assessment and understand exactly what you need to do.
There is no age limit to doing pelvic floor muscle exercises, so start yours today!
Men should not do pelvic floor muscle exercises routinely, but they are important for men who experience bladder or bowel problems, such as urinary leakage after a prostate operation.