Bladder Matters

Pelvic floor exercises

58292pfe.gifAt the base of your pelvis is a layer of muscles and other structures which together make up the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is in a sling shape from the back of the pubic bone at the front, to the front of the bottom of the spine at the back. The pelvic floor muscles usually work without us thinking about them, supporting the pelvic organs, the bladder and womb, and controlling the passage of urine. Pelvic floor muscles can become weak or damaged, particularly during childbirth, and are then less effective at supporting the pelvic organs or controlling the passage of urine. Urine can then leak involuntarily.

Pelvic floor exercises can help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and so improve the support of the pelvic organs and control of urine These exercises should become part of your daily routine and for life!

  1. How to Locate your pelvic floor! - Imagine that you are passing urine and are trying to stop yourself, or pop two fingers into the vagina and try to squeeze the muscles around your fingers. You will be using your pelvic floor muscles

  2. Slow exercises - While sitting or standing with knees slightly apart, squeeze the pelvic floor as if you are trying not to pass wind and squeeze the muscles as if trying not to pass urine. Then squeeze both together and hold for as long as you can. You may not be able to hold for more than two or three seconds initially but gradually increase the length of hold as the muscles become stronger, up to ten seconds. Repeat this as often as you can, up to ten times, with a rest of four to five seconds between each squeeze.

  3. Fast exercises - Use the same squeezing technique as for slow exercises but instead of holding onto the squeeze, let go immediately. Repeat these exercises as many times as possible up to ten times.

  4. Do both slow and fast exercises at least four times a day, but up to ten times a day if possible. You can do these exercises anytime, anywhere.

  5. If possible, tightening your pelvic floor muscles just before you cough or sneeze can help to prevent leakage at these times.

  6. If these simple exercises are not enough, a continence nurse or physiotherapist can carry out an assessment of the pelvic floor and advise on more specific exercises.

  7. You may not notice an improvement for several weeks but don’t give up! The more you do, the better the result.

  8. When you have recovered control of your bladder, continue doing pelvic floor exercises at least once per day for life.


Pelvic floor muscle exercises for women
Produced by The Bladder and Bowel Foundation
muscle exercises

Personal training for your pelvic floor muscles
Produced by The Bladder and Bowel Foundation
pelvic floor