Pelvic Floor Exercises help to prevent problems such as urinary incontinence that could be experienced as you get older or after you have had a baby. The exercises are easy to do and can be done anywhere.
The pelvic floor exercises exercise the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are located between your legs, and run from your pubic bone at the front to the base of your spine at the back. They are in the shape of a sling and hold your bladder and urethra in place.
The pelvic floor muscles give you control over your bladder and are used to urinate. They relax at the same time as the bladder contracts (tightens) in order to let the urine out.
As you get older, your pelvic floor muscles get weaker. Women who have had children may also find they have weaker pelvic floor muscles.
This can cause problems, such as being unable to control when you pass urine, reduced sensitivity during sex and small amounts of urine leaking out during an activity.
The pelvic floor muscle can be felt if you try to stop the flow of urine when you go to the toilet.
To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, sit comfortably and squeeze the muscles 10-15 times in a row. When you get used to doing pelvic floor exercises, you can try holding each squeeze for a few seconds. Every week, you can add more squeezes, but be careful not to overdo it, and always have a rest in between sets of squeezes.
After a few months, you should start to notice the results. Your incontinence should improve, as well as the sensitivity you experience during sex. You should carry on doing the exercises, even when you notice them starting to work.
If you are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant, you can start doing pelvic floor exercises straight away. The exercises will decrease your chances of experiencing incontinence after having your baby.
The great thing about pelvic floor exercises is that they can be done anywhere, anytime and nobody even knows that you are doing them. Try and get into a routine as to when you do them for example every time you make a cup of coffee or whenever you are brushing your teeth. If you can get into this routine they will become second nature and a part of your daily life.