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Incontinence:

Kegel or Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises for Men


(from Ohio State University, University Medical Center, image added)

Kegel or pelvic floor muscle exercises are to help strengthen weak muscles around the bladder. When these muscles are weak, urine can leak from the bladder.

What Is The Pelvic Floor?

The Pelvic Floor is a ''hammock'' of muscles that supports the internal abdominal and pelvic organs. This is shown in the picture below. These muscles run in different directions and are different sizes. The job of these muscles is to support, lift, and control the muscles that close the urethra (tube that urine passes through).

diagram showing location of pelvic floor muscles

How Do You Exercise These Muscles?

You exercise these muscles by squeezing and relaxing them. This takes effort and practice.

How Do I Find the Right Muscles?

button  To make sure that you are exercising the right muscles, try starting and stopping your urine stream. This exercise will help you find the correct muscles. Repeat this exercise once a week to check whether or not you are using the right muscles. Do not tighten your buttock or thigh muscles when doing these exercises. Relax your stomach muscles as much as possible.

button  When you are standing and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, you should see your penis move slightly.

How Do I Do These Exercises?

button  Begin by squeezing the muscles for a count of four (4), then relax for a count of four (4). At first, you can only squeeze the muscles for 1-2 seconds, but as your muscles get stronger, you will be able to hold to the count of four (4).

button  Work up to repeating these exercises for five (5) minutes twice a day.

button  Remember to relax between each squeeze and just let the muscles go loose. Do not push down.

Where Will I Do The Exercises?

When you first start doing the exercises, you need to set aside time when you can do them without being interrupted. After you have done them for awhile, you can practice these exercises any time and anywhere.

Remember:

button  Always squeeze your pelvic floor muscles when you:

      Sit up from lying down

      Stand from a sitting position

      Lift something heavy

button You can practice squeezing these muscles when you are watching TV, standing in line, or driving a car. Since these muscles are inside your body, people will not know you are doing exercises. It usually takes 6-12 weeks to see results. Do these exercises regularly.

Are There Any Precautions?

button  Some people exercise more than they should, hoping that they will regain bladder control quicker. If you exercise too much or too soon, your bladder control may get worse for awhile. Start slowing and increase the amount of exercise slowly. Follow the guidelines that your health care team have given you.

button  Be sure to breathe during the exercises. Holding your breath may put extra pressure on your pelvic muscles.



 
 

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This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not replace or amend professional medical advice. Unless otherwise stated and credited, the content of Phoenix5 (P5) is by and the opinion of and copyright © 2000 Robert Vaughn Young. All Rights Reserved. P5 is at <http://www.phoenix5.org>. P5's policy regarding privacy and right to reprint are at <www.phoenix5.org/infopolicy>.