“Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the muscles around your bladder, vagina or penis, and back passage”.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:

“Pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs and span the bottom of the pelvis. The pelvic organs are the bladder and bowel in men, and bladder, bowel and uterus 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 (National Health Service) definition is:

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

Why are pelvic floor exercises important?

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 What Are Kegel Exercises? the (United States) National Association for Continence (NAFC) include a diagram and elaborate on why:

“Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises, also known as Kegels or Kegel exercises, are one of the best ways to improve and maintain bowel and bladder functions. Kegel exercises can be done by men or women, and can increase the strength of your pelvic floor and may improve or even eliminate bladder leakage”.5

Muscles Strengthened

What muscles can pelvic floor exercises help strengthen?

In Working Your Pelvic Floor [+ Diagrams] Pelvicfloorfirst.org.au elaborate on:

“Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will help you to actively support your bladder and bowel. This improves bladder and bowel control and reduce the likelihood of accidentally leaking from your bladder or bowel. Like other muscles in your body, your pelvic floor muscles will become stronger with a regular exercise program. This is important for both men and women”.6

How Do You Do

How do you do pelvic floor exercises?

In Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Exercises: Information the MedlinePlus explain:

“A pelvic floor muscle training exercise is like pretending that you have to urinate, and then holding it. You relax and tighten the muscles that control urine flow. It is important to find the right muscles to tighten”.7

In What Are Kegel Exercises? How To Do Kegel Exercises – A Step By Step Guide the NAFC elaborate on:

“Like any exercise, it can be difficult at first to know that you are performing Kegels properly. But with a daily commitment, it becomes instinctive. Here are a few tips:

  • Which muscles?…
  • Build up to your routine…
  • Watch outs…
  • Repeat 3 times a day…
  • Give yourself encouragement…”.8

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”.9

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”.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 What Are Kegel Exercises? Signs of Pelvic Floor Strength Improvement the NAFC encourage us to seek help:

“Women who have difficulty performing pelvic floor muscle exercises on their own may find biofeedback therapy helpful. With professional instruction from a nurse specialist or physical therapist, many women witness significant improvement in pelvic floor muscle strength”.11

Health Topics A-Z

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

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Sources

  1. What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises? Page Last Reviewed: 30 April 2017. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/womens-health/what-are-pelvic-floor-exercises/#close%22 Accessed: 26 March 2020
  2. Pelvic Floor Muscles: What Are Pelvic Floor Muscles? Continence Foundation of Australia https://www.continence.org.au/pages/how-do-pelvic-floor-muscles-help.html Accessed: 26 March 2020
  3. What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises? Page Last Reviewed: 30 April 2017. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/womens-health/what-are-pelvic-floor-exercises/#close%22 Accessed: 26 March 2020
  4. Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Exercises: Information. Review Date: 10 October 2018. Page Last Updated: 23 March 2020.  MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003975.htm Accessed: 26 March 2020
  5. What Are Kegel Exercises? National Association for Continence https://www.nafc.org/kegel Accessed: 26 March 2020
  6. Working Your Pelvic Floor. Pelvicfloorfirst.org.au http://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/working-your-pelvic-floor.html Accessed: 26 March 2020
  7. Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Exercises: Information. Review Date: 10 October 2018. Page Last Updated: 23 March 2020. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003975.htm Accessed: 26 March 2020
  8. What Are Kegel Exercises? How To Do Kegel Exercises – A Step By Step Guide. National Association for Continence https://www.nafc.org/kegel Accessed: 26 March 2020
  9. Pelvic Floor Exercises: Pelvic Floor Exercises. Last Updated: 19 December 2019 | Last Reviewed: 04 August 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/bladder-bowel/pelvic-floor-strength/ Accessed: 26 March 2020
  10. 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: 26 March 2020
  11. What Are Kegel Exercises? Signs of Pelvic Floor Strength Improvement. National Association for Continence https://www.nafc.org/kegel Accessed: 26 March 2020
Topic Last Updated: 26 March 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 26 March 2020
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