Wednesday 17th Jan
Pressure can be from anything such as coughing, sneezing, running or laughing- anything that puts stress (pressure) on your bladder. Exercising the pelvic floor muscles can strengthen them so they give the correct support, improving bladder control and improve or stop urine leakage.
The NHS has reported that about six out of ten cases of stress incontinence will improve by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. But like any other exercise, you’re not going to see results overnight. Like any other muscles in the body, the more you use and exercise them, the stronger they will be. You need to have and follow a training plan, just as you would for the gym.
Find your pelvic floor muscles
- We’ve all been for a wee and had to stop half-way through – these are the muscles you need to squeeze! (It’s not recommended that you regularly stop your flow of urine midstream as it can be harmful to the bladder.)
- Squeeze 10-15 times in a row. Don’t hold your breath or tighten any other muscles.
- After some practice begin to repeat but making each squeeze longer. Trying to hold to a count of five.
- Switch between short and long blocks for five minutes.
- Like any other exercise you need to slowly build up what you can do. Every week, you can add more squeezes. You can be sitting, standing or lying down when you do them.
- When this becomes easy, begin holding to a count of ten.
- Like with your fitness, after time you should start to notice the results. But don’t stop now! You should carry on doing the exercises, even when you notice them starting to work.
The Bladder and Bowel Community shared some top tips to help you get into the habit of keeping up with your pelvic floor exercises.
Get into the habit of doing your exercises during normal day to day activities. For example, whilst cleaning your teeth or waiting for a kettle to boil.
Tighten your pelvic floor muscles when you feel you might be about to leak – pull up the muscles before you cough, laugh, sneeze or lift anything heavy. Your control will gradually improve.
Drink normally – about 6-8 large glasses of fluid a day, avoiding caffeine if you can. Water is best!
Remember: you can exercise your pelvic floor muscles wherever you are – nobody will know what you are doing!
*Exercise advice sourced via nhs.co.uk