What are pelvic floor exercises?

Pelvic floor exercises (also commonly known as Kegels) strengthen the muscles around your bladder, reproductive organs, and back passage.

A strong, healthy pelvic floor can help stop bladder and bowel incontinence, treat prolapse, and make sex better, too.

Both men and women can benefit from doing these exercises.

It’s recommended that women who’ve had babies, are going through or have been through the menopause do these exercises daily.

You need to practise both strong long holds, which we call ‘slow exercises’ and short squeezes, which we call ‘quick exercises’.

You should also try doing a strong ‘squeeze and lift’ just before any activity that causes a problem. This is called ‘The Knack’.

The Knack

If you leak with certain movements or activities it may be that the muscles aren’t reacting in either the right way or at the right time.

If this sounds familiar try doing the ‘squeeze and lift’ before you perform activities such as coughing, sneezing, lifting, bending or when carrying something heavy. Hold the contraction whilst you do the activity.

This may be difficult to start with – that’s why it’s called ‘the knack’. It should get easier with practice so the sooner you get into the habit of doing it the better.

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