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Pelvic Floor Exercise (Kegal)

 

What is Pelvic Floor Exercise ?

Pelvic floor exercise commonly called “Kegel” exercises, named after the doctor who developed them is a form of physical therapy that can help women and men learn how to contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles to help in reducing the symptoms associated with bladder control, pain syndromes, and pelvic prolapse

 

Conditions that can be treated using Pelvic floor exercises

  • Stress Incontinence — the loss of urinary control with physical activity.
  • Urge Incontinence — a strong urge to urinate that is uncontrollable.
  • Frequency — the need to go to the bathroom often.
  • Painful bladder syndrome

What are the pelvic floor muscles?

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles attached to the pelvic bone that support the organs in the pelvis, including the bladder and uterus (womb) much like a hammock

These muscles also wrap around the urethra (the pipe from the bladder in which urine flows out of the body) Contracting and relaxing these muscles control bladder functions. When contracted these muscles effectively squeeze the urethra stopping urine leaking from the bladder. In order for the bladder to empty these muscles must relax to allow for urination Weakness in these muscles may also result in urinary incontinence. Painful bladder syndrome may be due to abnormal tension or spasm of these muscles.

How does pelvic floor biofeedback therapy work?

Factors such as pregnancy, childbirth, aging, being overweight, and abdominal surgery such as cesarean section, often result in the weakening of the pelvic muscles The consequences of weakened pelvic floor muscles may include stress or urge urinary incontinence.

Bladder control to prevent urinary incontinence depends on the bladder and pelvic floor muscles working together

When the bladder is filling: the bladder muscle should be relaxed and the pelvic floor muscles around the urethra (the tube that urine passes through) should be tight.

When emptying the bladder: the pelvic floor muscles around the urethra should relax and the bladder muscle should contract.

Exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles can help hold urine inside the bladder, preventing leakage. And also suppress the urge to go to toilet

How do you do the exercises?

Pelvic floor exercises are best taught by a specialist,

 

To watch a video on pelvic floor exercise

 

How often should I do my exercises?

Pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises require a high level of motivation and frequent repetition to be successful Just as we exercise regularly to tone muscles in the arms or legs or any other part of the body the same applies to exercising the pelvic floor muscles. Muscle strength will not be maintained without continued exercise If you stop exercising, your problems may return.

As part of individually planned programme, a nurse specialist will discuss with you how often and for how long you need to perform these exercises

How do I know they are working?

It will take several weeks of regular exercise to regain the strength in your pelvic floor muscles.

Every two weeks, test the strength of your pelvic floor by stopping the flow of urine mid- stream. You may not be able to completely stop the flow of urine to begin with, but you may notice that you are able to slow the flow down. Gradually over the weeks, you should notice an improvement. It is important that you do not do this test more than once a fortnight as it may cause problems with your bladder.

Are there any other ways I can improve my pelvic floor muscles?

For women, vaginal cones, or Kegel exercise weights can be inserted into the vagina and held there by the pelvic floor muscles. These weights can be increased as the muscles become stronger.

Biofeedback used in conjunction with pelvic floor exercises This involves inserting a probe into the vagina or rectum, with electrodes that sense muscle activity while carrying out pelvic floor exercises Activity can be viewed on a computer or hand-held screen. This method can help you to identify which muscles to tighten and relax

Electrical stimulation. Usually used with biofeedback .This is a painless procedure which involves a probe being placed in the vagina (for women) or rectum (for men). A weak electric current is passed through the probe, which can help exercise, the pelvic floor muscles.

 

Getting help

If you wish to make an appointment to seek further advice and or treatment, please contact Mr Ockrim’s secretary.

Consultations

 

The information contained within this website has been provided as a general guide and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own GP or any other health professional.