“Pelvic floor exercises are not necessarily easy to do correctly. The pelvic floor muscles can be difficult to isolate. When done correctly, they are very effective…”.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 pelvic floor muscles?

DotS the definition of pelvic floor muscles may vary. In Pelvic Floor Muscles: What Are Pelvic Floor Muscles? [+ Images] the Continence Foundation of Australia’s definition is:

“The pelvic floor muscles span the bottom of the pelvis and support the pelvic organs (bladder and bowel, and uterus (womb) in women)”.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 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”.4

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 muscle 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”.5

Identifying the Correct Muscles

How may women identify the correct muscles?

In Women: How Can I Find My Pelvic Floor Muscles? Method 1 – Stopping the Flow Pelvicfloorfirst.org.au explain:

“The first step in performing pelvic floor muscle exercises is to identify the correct muscles. 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”.6

How Do I Do

How do I do pelvic floor exercises?

In Pelvic Floor Muscle Training for Women: How Do I Do Pelvic Floor Muscle Training? the Continence Foundation of Australia explain how to do pelvic floor exercises.

In Women: How Can I Find My Pelvic Floor Muscles? Pelvicfloorfirst.org.au explain two different methods and Getting the Technique Right and Exercising Your Pelvic Floor Muscles.

Tips

What are some tips about performing pelvic floor exercises properly?

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

“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 for Kegel exercises?…
  • How many Kegels a 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…”.7

Physiotherapist or Continence Nurse

Who may provide help with doing pelvic floor exercises correctly?

In Pelvic Floor Exercises Pelvic Floor Exercises [+ Podcast + Video + Image] the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health explain:

Pelvic Floor Exercises

“Pelvic floor exercises are not necessarily easy to do correctly. The pelvic floor muscles can be difficult to isolate. When done correctly, they are very effective, but practising the wrong technique can make a problem worse.

If doing the exercises yourself doesn’t help, then you can seek help from a pelvic floor physiotherapist or a continence nurse”.8

On page one in Fact Sheets and Downloads: Fact Sheets – Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises and Bladder Training: Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises the American Urogynecologic Society explain:

“If you are not sure that you are doing the exercises correctly, ask your medical provider at a pelvic exam to check if your squeeze is working the right muscles. Or, ask for a referral to a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation. The physical therapist will also check your back and abdominal strength, your gait and your posture. These all affect how your pelvic muscles work”.9

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”.10

Health Topics A-Z

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

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Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Pelvic Floor Exercises: Pelvic Floor Exercises. Last Updated: 21 December 2020 | Last Reviewed: 01 August 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/bladder-bowel/pelvic-floor-strength Accessed: 08 September 2021
  2. Pelvic Floor Muscles: What Are Pelvic Floor Muscles? Last Updated: 08 September 2021. Last Reviewed: 23 March 2020. Continence Foundation of Australia https://www.continence.org.au/about-continence/continence-health/pelvic-floor Accessed: 08 September 2021
  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: 08 September 2021
  4. Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Exercises: Information. Review Date: 14 October 2020. Page Last Updated: 01 September 2021.  MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003975.htm Accessed: 08 September 2021
  5. Kegel Exercises – A Step By Step Guide: What Are Kegel Exercises? National Association for Continence https://www.nafc.org/kegel-exercises Accessed: 08 September 2021
  6. Women: How Can I Find My Pelvic Floor Muscles? Method 1 – Stopping the Flow Pelvicfloorfirst.org.au http://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/working-your-pelvic-floor.html Accessed: 08 September 2021
  7. Kegel Exercises – A Step By Step Guide for Women on How To Do Kegel Exercises. National Association for Continence https://www.nafc.org/kegel-exercises Accessed: 08 September 2021
  8. Pelvic Floor Exercises: Pelvic Floor Exercises. Last Updated: 21 December 2020 | Last Reviewed: 01 August 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/bladder-bowel/pelvic-floor-strength Accessed: 08 September 2021
  9. Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises and Bladder Training: Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises. 2016. American Urogynecologic Society https://www.voicesforpfd.org/assets/2/6/Bladder_Training.pdf Accessed: 08 September 2021
  10. Kegel Exercises – A Step By Step Guide: Signs of Pelvic Floor Strength Improvement. National Association for Continence https://www.nafc.org/kegel-exercises Accessed: 08 September 2021

Topic Last Updated: 08 September 2021 – Topic Last Reviewed: 08 September 2021
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