20 Aug What are pelvic exercises?
“What are pelvic exercises? I’ve heard they might help with bladder leakage.” – L.C., Taos, NM
You’ve come to the right place with your question! We encourage all women (and men!) to do Kegel Exercises (also known as Pelvic Muscle Exercises (PMEs)). Pelvic muscles control the flow of urine from the bladder. For women, pelvic muscles can be weakened during pregnancy or childbirth. For men, prostate surgery can weaken the same muscle group. The good news is that PMEs are simple and easy!
First, locate the correct set of muscles by stopping the flow of urine the next time you go to the bathroom. You don’t want to perform the exercises then, but doing that will help you know and feel the correct muscles. The muscles attach to the front, back and sides of the pelvic bones.
PMEs can be done anytime, anywhere. Simply contract your pelvic muscles, hold for the count of ten, and release. Do this several times in a row, building up to a set of 10 or 20 every day. Tightening these muscles before sneezing and lifting heavy objects will also build strength.
Another helpful exercise is to squeeze a small ball between your legs. That simple exercise will help to strengthen all the pelvic muscles. Be patient! Just as it takes time to build arm and leg strength, it takes time to build pelvic muscles.
It can take several weeks to experience results of the muscle training.
We’ve created a brochure that provides more information and detailed instructions for PMEs. Get your copy of the HDIS PME brochure!