“It’s important to practise pelvic floor exercises
to strengthen your muscles
and reduce the risk of incontinence and prolapse”.1

Umbrella
What may the Pelvic Floor Exercises Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Kegel Exercises
  • Kegels
  • Pelvic Floor Exercises
  • Pelvic Floor Muscle Control
  • Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Exercises
  • Pelvic Muscle Exercises (PMEs)
  • Pelvic Muscle Strengthening Exercises

Pelvic Floor Muscles

What are the pelvic floor muscles?

DotS the definition of the pelvic floor muscles may vary. In Pelvic Floor Muscles: About the Pelvic Floor – Pelvic Floor Muscles In Men and Women [+ Images] the Continence Foundation of Australia’s definition is:

“A woman’s pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, bowel and uterus (womb). The urethra (urine tube), anus (back passage) and vagina all pass through the pelvic floor muscles”.2

Pelvic Floor Exercises

What are pelvic floor exercises?

DotS the definition of pelvic floor exercises may vary. In What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises? the (United Kingdom) NHS’s  definition is:

“Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the muscles around your bladder, bottom, and vagina or penis”.3

Importance

Why are pelvic floor exercises important?

In Your Pelvic Floor the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health explain:

Pelvic Floor Exercises

“It’s important to practise pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your muscles and reduce the risk of incontinence and prolapse.

Even if you don’t have any symptoms, these exercises may prevent problems developing in future”.4

In Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Exercises: Information the (United States) MedlinePlus’ explain:

“Pelvic floor muscle training exercises can help strengthen the muscles under the uterus, bladder, and bowel (large intestine). They can help both men and women who have problems with urine leakage or bowel control”.5

In Kegel Exercises – A Step By Step Guide: What Are Kegel Exercises? the (United States) National Association for Continence (NAFC) include a diagram and elaborate on why:

“Kegels or kegel exercises (also known as pelvic floor exercises) are one of the best ways to improve and maintain bowel and bladder functions. Kegels can be done by both men and women to increase the strength of your pelvic floor and may help to improve or even eliminate bladder leakage”.6

Identifying the Correct Muscles

How may women identify the correct muscles?

In Women: Pelvic Floor Exercise the Continence Foundation of Australia’s, Pelvic Floor First note:

“The first step in performing pelvic floor muscle exercises is to identify the correct muscles”.7

Then, in Women: Pelvic Floor Exercises – How Can I Find My Pelvic Floor Muscles? Method 1 – Stopping the Flow Pelvic Floor First continue:

“There are several ways which may help you to correctly identify the different parts of your pelvic floor muscles. One way is to try to stop or slow the flow of urine midway through emptying the bladder. Stopping the flow of urine repeatedly on the toilet is not an exercise, but a way of identifying your pelvic floor muscles. This should only be done to identify which muscles are needed for bladder control.

If you can, stop the flow of urine over the toilet for a second or two, then relax and finish emptying without straining. This ‘stop-test’ may help you identify the muscles around the front passage which control the flow of urine. It is not recommended as a regular exercise”.8

How Do I Do

How do I do pelvic floor exercises?

Examples of how to do pelvic floor exercises are included in:

Tips

What are some tips about performing pelvic floor exercises properly?

In Kegel Exercises – A Step By Step Guide: A Step By Step Guide for Women on How To Do Kegel Exercises the NAFC elaborate on:

Pelvic Floor Exercises

“So, how do you know you are doing kegels properly? Like any exercise, it can be difficult to know at first. But with a daily commitment, it becomes instinctive. Here are a few tips for doing kegel exercises:

  • Which muscles do I use?…
  • How many should I do per day?…
  • Work both your fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers…
  • Things to watch out for…
  • Repeat your exercises 3 times a day…
  • Give yourself encouragement…”.9

Suitable or Not

Are pelvic floor exercises suitable for everyone?

The JH note:

“Note, pelvic floor strengthening exercises are not suitable for everyone. If you experience vaginal or pelvic pain, you may need a special program to learn how to relax your pelvic floor muscles”.10

Health Care Provider

What if I would like to find out if pelvic floor exercises could help me?

If you would like to find out if pelvic floor exercises could help you, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. Together you may clarify your symptoms, discuss your options and if required, agree on who may be the most appropriate health care provider to help you.

In Kegel Exercises – A Step By Step Guide: Signs of Pelvic Floor Strength Improvement the NAFC encourage us to seek help:

“Women and men who have difficulty performing kegel exercises on their own may find biofeedback therapy helpful. With professional instruction from a nurse specialist or pelvic floor therapist, many people experience significant improvement in pelvic floor muscle strength, tone, and function with a good regime.

It’s crucial to remember that incontinence and pelvic floor symptoms almost always have solutions and shouldn’t be shrugged off as normal. You can try these exercises regardless of how long you have had your symptoms. Even if you have been experiencing leakage for as short as 1 month or as long as 10 years, it is never too late to try Kegels”.11

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Pelvic Floor Exercises?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Pelvic Floor Exercises?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Your Pelvic Floor. Last Updated: 17 August 2022 | Last Reviewed: 11 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/bladder-bowel/pelvic-floor-strength Accessed: 04 October 2022
  2. Pelvic Floor Muscles: About the Pelvic Floor – Pelvic Floor Muscles In Men and Women. Last Updated: 03 August 2022. Last Reviewed: 23 March 2020. Continence Foundation of Australia https://www.continence.org.au/about-continence/continence-health/pelvic-floor Accessed: 04 October 2022
  3. What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises? Page Last Reviewed: 14 April 2020. NHS https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/womens-health/what-are-pelvic-floor-exercises/#close%22 Accessed: 04 October 2022
  4. Your Pelvic Floor. Last Updated: 17 August 2022 | Last Reviewed: 11 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/bladder-bowel/pelvic-floor-strength Accessed: 04 October 2022
  5. Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Exercises: Information. Review Date: 14 October 2020.  MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003975.htm Accessed: 04 October 2022
  6. Kegel Exercises – A Step By Step Guide: What Are Kegel Exercises? National Association for Continence https://www.nafc.org/kegel-exercises Accessed: 04 October 2022
  7. Women: Pelvic Floor Exercises. Pelvic Floor First https://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/pelvic-floor-muscle-exercises-for-women.html Accessed: 04 October 2022
  8. Women: Pelvic Floor Exercises – How Can I Find My Pelvic Floor Muscles? Method 1 – Stopping the Flow. Pelvic Floor First https://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/pelvic-floor-muscle-exercises-for-women.html Accessed: 04 October 2022
  9. Kegel Exercises – A Step By Step Guide: A Step By Step Guide for Women on How To Do Kegel Exercises. National Association for Continence https://www.nafc.org/kegel-exercises Accessed: 04 October 2022
  10. Your Pelvic Floor: How Do You Do Pelvic Floor Exercises? Last Updated: 17 August 2022 | Last Reviewed: 11 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/bladder-bowel/pelvic-floor-strength#how-do-you-do-pelvic-floor-exercises Accessed: 04 October 2022
  11. Kegel Exercises – A Step By Step Guide: Signs of Pelvic Floor Strength Improvement. National Association for Continence https://www.nafc.org/kegel-exercises Accessed: 04 October 2022
Topic Last Updated: 04 October 2022 – Topic Last Reviewed: 04 October 2022

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