Pelvic Floor Exercises for Men
Sometimes the pelvic floor can weaken. If this happens, you may experience a range of symptoms including:
• a tendency to leak urine when you cough, laugh or sneeze (referred to as stress urinary incontinence)
• a need to go to the toilet repeatedly during the day or night (referred to as frequency)
• an urgent need to visit the toilet and leaking before you get there or if you don’t go(referred to as urge incontinence); or
• an inability to control the passing of wind from your back passage.
Why do the muscles weaken?
We all take our pelvic floor muscles for granted. However, if we neglect them, they canbecome weaker, causing problems. Factors that can weaken your pelvic floor include:
• Lack of exercise
They need regular exercise to maintain good muscle tone; just like other muscles of the body. If they are not exercised, they may become stretched, weak and no longer work effectively, leading to the symptoms outlined above.
• Pelvic surgery
such as surgery to reduce your prostate gland.
• Straining to open your bowels
The ‘pushing down’ movement when you strain to open your bowels can overstretch your pelvic floor and make it weaker.
• Being overweight
Extra weight puts more pressure on your pelvic floor. Your GP will be able to tell you whether you are an acceptable weight for your height and what you should do if you are under or overweight.
• Having a chronic cough
Every cough bounces on your pelvic floor, so persistent coughing can damage and overstretch the muscles.
Why should I do pelvic floor exercises?
Pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen your muscles so that they can give your organs support again. This will improve your bladder or bowel control and improve or stop any leakage. Strong pelvic floor muscles help to achieve erection and may prevent premature ejaculation.
How can I find my pelvic floor muscles?
You need to know where your muscles are, so you can be sure you are exercising the right ones. To find your pelvic floor, try to stop the flow of urine in mid-stream or imagine trying to avoid passing wind by squeezing inside and pulling upwards.
How do I do pelvic floor exercises?
Pelvic floor exercises can be done anywhere and anytime. You can perform them standing, squatting or lying down but at first you may find it easier to do the exercises sitting down: