Pelvic Floor Muscle exercises
Pelvic Floor muscle exercises are often talked about and are recommended by healthcare professionals as the first treatment for bladder leakage, BUT women often struggle to know how to correctly identify them.
What are Pelvic Floor muscle exercises?
Pelvic Floor muscle exercises, sometimes referred to as ‘Kegel’ exercises, are essential to every woman’s exercise routine and they can be done anytime, anywhere, and without anyone noticing! Not only do they increase your control over your bladder, your pelvic floor supports your vagina, womb (uterus) and bowel, so keeping your Pelvic Floor in good working order is beneficial for women of all ages and stages of life.
There are 2 types of Pelvic Floor Muscle exercise
Pelviva, with its reactive pulse technology, will help you feel your Pelvic Floor muscles working and this can help you exercise them more effectively. There are two types of Pelvic Floor muscle exercise:
1. Long slow contractions
Imagine that you are trying to stop yourself passing wind or urine. Start by tightening the muscles around the back passage, then squeeze and lift your Pelvic Floor muscles upwards and forwards. You may not feel that much is happening at first, but keep trying. Hold the squeeze for a few seconds and then relax for a few seconds. Don’t hold your breath. Gradually, increase the hold time and the number of contractions you do until you can hold the squeeze for up to 10 seconds and repeat it up to 10 times each time.
2. Short strong contractions
Because it’s important for your Pelvic Floor muscles to be able to react quickly to stop you leaking when you cough, sneeze, jump, laugh or shout, you need to do these contractions too. Tighten your muscles as quickly and strongly as you can, then relax. Do this up to 10 times each time.
To strengthen your Pelvic Floor muscles, you should repeat both types of exercises 3 times each day.1
How to identify your Pelvic Floor muscles
Identifying your pelvic floor muscles can be difficult and it takes practice to find and squeeze your Pelvic Floor correctly.
Here are some tips, one or more may help you.
- Imagine you are trying to stop passing wind and tighten around your back passage (anus). Then tighten your Pelvic Floor muscles, pulling upwards and forwards towards the bone between the top of your legs (pubic bone)
- Sit on a rolled up towel or hard seat and try to lift your Pelvic Floor muscles upwards away from the towel/seat
- Lie down on the bed and using a mirror check if you can see the opening of the vagina and the area of skin (perineal body) between your front and back passage lifting upwards away from the mirror
- Relaxing in a warm bath or lying on the bed – place your thumb just inside the opening of your vagina. Contracting your Pelvic Floor muscles should lift the back wall of the vagina upwards against the pad of your thumb.
1. Nice Guidance 2013. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance
Models are used for illustrative purposes only