Women with bladder control problems can regain control through pelvic muscle exercises, also called Kegel exercises. These exercises strengthen muscles that hold the bladder and many other organs in place. They can be done almost anywhere -- just five minutes a day, three times a day, can make a difference.
What Are Kegel 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.
Understanding the Pelvic Muscles
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.
How Often Should You Do Kegel Exercises?
Exercising your pelvic floor muscles by doing Kegel exercises for just five minutes, three times a day, can make a big difference in your bladder control. These exercises strengthen muscles that hold the bladder and many other organs in place.
You can do Kegel exercises every day using three positions:
- Lying down
You can exercise while lying on the floor, sitting at a desk, or standing in the kitchen. Using all three positions makes the muscles strongest.
Be patient. Don't give up. It's just five minutes, three times a day. You may not feel your bladder control improve until after three to six weeks. Most women who do Kegel exercises notice an improvement after a few weeks.
You can also exercise using special weights or biofeedback. Ask your healthcare professional about these exercise aids.