Pelvic Floor Exercises for Men
Pelvic floor exercises, otherwise known as Kegels, are often associated with women. However, men can also practice pelvic floor exercises and strengthen their pelvic muscles as a result. With practice, you can do Kegel exercises anywhere, anytime, and reap the rewards of continence and an active and fulfilled sex life.
What are Pelvic Floor Exercises and Why are They Important for Men?
Male pelvic floor exercises have become increasingly recognised as a first-line treatment for male incontinence, erection problems, premature ejaculation, as well as being an important part of recovery after pelvic surgery, especially prostate surgery. Pelvic floor muscle training is extremely effective for helping with:
- Stress incontinence - Men who leak urine when they cough, sneeze or are active are suffering from stress incontinence. Pelvic floor muscle training can improve this problem.
- Urge incontinence - Men who have an urgent need to pass urine more often have a symptom called urgency, and pelvic floor muscle training can help.
- Bowel incontinence - Pelvic floor exercises can help to strengthen the muscles that close the anus. These muscles are part of the pelvic floor muscles.
- A lack of intimate sensation
- Overactive bladder
- Erection problems
- Premature ejaculation
- Pelvic pain
How Do You Do Male Pelvic Floor Exercises?
Before you begin to do your pelvic floor exercises, you must ensure that you've found the right muscles, and know how it should feel when you tighten them. To learn more about finding your pelvic floor muscles, visit Male Pelvic Floor. There are two sets of pelvic floor exercises that you can perform - slow and fast. You can do either of them whilst sitting, standing, or lying down - whichever you prefer.
Slow Pelvic Floor Exercises for Men
- Tense your pelvic floor muscles slowly, as hard as you can so that you can feel a lifting sensation.
- Try to hold this squeeze for 10 seconds - don't forget to breathe!
- Slowly relax the muscles, and rest for 10 seconds.
- Repeat the squeeze and lift!
- Aim to repeat the slow pelvic floor exercise 10 times. Don't worry if you can't hold the lift for 10 seconds at first - you will be able to build up to this. It's more important that you do the exercises properly, than do them for the full 10 seconds.
A good way to picture this is if you walk into the cold ocean and the waves are lapping higher up your leg with each step you take. Tense to lift yourself up and away from the waves. Then drop as the wave moves away, and contract when it comes back.
Fast Pelvic Floor Exercises for Men
- Tighten your pelvic floor muscles as quickly as you can.
- Hold the squeeze and lift for 1 second, and then release.
- Aim to do this short, fast lift 10 times.
Picture the waves slightly more ferocious than they were before. You need to tense and relax much faster - but remember to relax for an equal amount of time as you contract to avoid getting too tight.
It's vital that you concentrate whilst performing these exercises. If you don't do them properly, they may not be as effective.
If you're finding it hard to perform these exercises, it could be that your muscles are too weak to contract on their own. However, this is no cause for concern as there is help available. Visit our page on Male Electronic Pelvic Floor Toner, to find out more.
How Often Should You Do Pelvic Floor Exercises?
You should aim to do pelvic floor exercises 3 to 6 times per day to achieve the best results. The exercises should be part of your daily routine - it may help to make a regular time to do your pelvic floor muscle squeezes. However, don't overdo it! Your pelvic floor muscles, like any other muscles, can get tired if you do too much exercise. You may even notice that you leak urine towards the end of the day, as your muscles get tired. This should get better with time as the muscles grow stronger. If you find yourself forgetting to do your Kegels, try and work them into your daily routine. Here are some top tips for remembering to do your male Kegels:
- Do your Kegels whilst the adverts are on TV.
- Do them whenever you are on the toilet after you have emptied your bladder.
- Leave post-it notes around your house to remind you (it may also help to remind those around you too!)
- Try an app like NHS Squeezy. On the app you can set reminders and follow exercise routines so you know you're doing the exercises you need to, when you need to.
What Are The Benefits of Doing Male Pelvic Floor Exercises?
By improving and maintaining your pelvic floor, you can expect to see results within a few weeks. These include:
- An improved sex life
- Less frequent urinary incontinence
- Less frequent bowel incontinence
For continued benefits, ensure that Kegel exercises are a permanent part of your daily routine.
Kegel Exercises Are Not Working For Me
Don't be discouraged if you don't see results immediately, Kegel exercises can take up to 6 months to have a noticeable effect on particularly weak muscles. They also work differently for each person. Some people may show a great improvement in muscle control, whereas others may take longer to develop. However, Kegels will be preventing your condition from worsening if done correctly.
Also remember that you don't need to feel embarrassed when asking for help. A doctor or healthcare provider can give you important feedback on how best to isolate and strengthening the muscles.
It may also be helpful to invest in a biofeedback tool. A biofeedback device is able to monitor your pelvic floor contractions whilst you are performing the exercises. It involves the insertion of a small probe into your back passage. When you tighten your pelvic floor muscles, a pressure is put onto the probe. This pressure is then displayed on a screen, and shows if you're doing the exercises correctly. Research has shown that a biofeedback tool can be even more effective in treating bowel incontinence. To learn more, click here.
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Department of Health AUS (2010) Pelvic Floor Muscle Training for Men [online]. Continence Foundation of Australia [viewed 06/08/2018]. Available from http://www.bladderbowel.gov.au/assets/doc/brochures/05PelvicFloorMen.html.
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Prostate Cancer UK (2014) Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises [online]. Prostate Cancer UK [viewed 01/08/2018]. Available from https://prostatecanceruk.org/media/975926/pelvic_floor_exercises-ifm.pdf.