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Bladder Control Exercises

When the muscles that control the bladder get weak, bladder exercises can help make them strong again. Doing bladder control exercises for just 5 minutes, three times a day, can make a big difference in your bladder control.

An Overview of Bladder Control Exercises

Life's events can weaken pelvic muscles. Things such as pregnancy, childbirth, and being overweight can do it. Luckily, when these muscles get weak, you can help make them strong again.
Pelvic floor muscles are just like other muscles. Exercise can make them stronger. Women with bladder control problems can regain control through pelvic muscle exercises, also called Kegel exercises.

Bladder Control Exercises for the Pelvic Area

Your hip bones are part of the pelvic area. At the bottom of the pelvis, several layers of muscle stretch between your legs. The muscles attach to the front, back, and sides of the pelvis bone.
Two pelvic muscles do most of the work. The biggest one stretches like a hammock. The other is shaped like a triangle. These muscles prevent the leaking of urine and stool.
Exercising your pelvic floor muscles (bladder control exercises) for just 5 minutes, three times a day, can make a big difference in your bladder control. Bladder control exercises strengthen the muscles that hold the bladder and many other organs in place.

Finding the Right Muscles

Find the right muscles. This is very important. Your doctor, nurse, or physical therapist will help make sure you are doing the bladder control exercises the right way.
For bladder control exercises, you should tighten the two major muscles that stretch across your pelvic floor. They are the "hammock" muscle, and the "triangle" muscle. Here are three methods to check for the correct muscles:
  • Try to stop the flow of urine when you are sitting on the toilet. If you can do it, you are using the right muscles.
  • Imagine that you are trying to stop passing gas. Squeeze the muscles you would use. If you sense a "pulling" feeling, those are the right muscles for pelvic exercises.
  • Lie down and put your finger inside your vagina. Squeeze as if you were trying to stop urine from coming out. If you feel tightness on your finger, you are squeezing the right pelvic muscle.
Don't squeeze other muscles at the same time. Be careful not to tighten your stomach, legs, or other muscles. Squeezing the wrong muscles can put more pressure on your bladder control muscles. Just squeeze the pelvic muscle. Don't hold your breath.
Repeat these bladder control exercises, but don't overdo them. At first, find a quiet spot to practice -- your bathroom or bedroom -- so you can concentrate. Lie on the floor. Pull in the pelvic muscles and hold for a count of 3. Then relax for a count of 3. Work up to 10 to 15 repetitions each time you exercise.
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