LIVING WITH INCONTINENCE
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What are the Pelvic Floor Muscles?
Your pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that run from your pubic bone to your spine. They hold your vagina, uterus, bowel and bladder in place. The strengthening of these muscles is also known as ‘kegel exercises’. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles have some great benefits. Of course they help strengthen your bladder, but they can also increase sensitivity during sex.
The best thing about pelvic floor exercises is that you can do them anywhere. They’re so discreet nobody will know. It is best to start lying down though. It’s easier to relax this way and make sure you’re doing it right.
As you get stronger, you can do them quick or sustained, in a car, or in a meeting. Our only guide is that you try and do them for at least 5 minutes a day.
Let’s get started. To activate your pelvic floor muscles, clench as if you’re stopping yourself from doing a wee. You can do this in any position. If you’re lying down though, place two fingers just on the inside of your hip bone over your pubic area. When you clench you should be able to feel it under your fingers. From here there are two main, super simple exercises or ‘squeezes’ that target different parts of your pelvic floor.
Exercise 1: The Little Squeeze
In your preferred position squeeze as hard you can and then let go. Start by holding the squeeze for one second, and then take a 6 second break. Try to repeat this 5-10 times and if you’re new to pelvic floor exercises, you might want to stick to this for a week before moving on to exercise two.
Little Squeezes strengthen and help improve coordination. This assists in preventing those ‘oops’ moments when you laugh or sneeze. It’s all about squeezing with maximum strength and then gently relaxing again.
Exercise 2: The Big Squeeze
Once you’re comfortable with ‘The Little Squeeze’ you’re ready to move on to ‘The Big Squeeze’. The Big Squeeze is like planking for your lady garden. It builds endurance so you can ‘hold on’ when you need to find a toilet.
Start by getting into your preferred position. Clench and draw the squeeze up through your body. Then hold, hold and hold. See how long you can hold it for. Over time you’ll notice this increasing.
After every little squeeze session, try and do one big squeeze. Let’s call this a set. The goal is to do 10 sets, three times per day.
We’ve also developed an app that will help you practice your exercise daily.
Like many things in life, results take time. It can take up to 3-6 months to start seeing improvements, so don’t stress if you’re not magically cured! Just like brushing your teeth, it’s best to get into a daily routine with these so you don’t even have to think about it!
If you do have a problem with these exercises or feel like you’re not seeing improvements, it’s best to see your GP.
Asaleo Care makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, medical or other health professional advice.