Incontinence can be caused by a number of factors, including old age, surgical procedures and the most common cause being the pelvic floor becoming stretched during pregnancy; which is why we generally see around 3 times more women suffering from incontinence than men.

If you wish to find out more information on the causes and ways to help deal with it, visit our previous post which outlines: advice for those new to urinary incontinence.

What are Pelvic Floor Exercises? (Kegel exercises)

Your pelvic floor muscles are located between your legs and are there to hold your pelvic organs in place (bladder, bowel). You are able to feel these muscles when attempting to hold in urine.

The pelvic floor muscles give you control when you urinate, which can of course cause problems when they become ineffective and you no longer have control.

How Can I Perform Pelvic Floor Exercises?

Pelvic floor exercises can be a really effective method of reducing leaks, although it’s important that you, firstly, do the right exercises and secondly are consistent and are patient enough to take the time to see some effect.

Pelvic Exercise Routine:
  • Tense the muscle as if you were trying to prevent the flow of urine and relaxing again.
  • Start by doing this exercise quickly, tensing and relaxing the muscle a number of times.
  • Then try and hold the squeeze of this muscle for around 10 seconds, across 8 repetitions. You should aim to do this around 3 times a day.
  • Exercises to Avoid:

  • Sit-ups – doing sit-ups can also lead to straining in your pelvic floor muscles, causing leaks.
  • Replace Jogging with Pilates – Pilates exercises are a good way of strengthening the core muscles, leading to more control.
  • Avoid Lifting – Although you can’t completely avoid lifting heavy objects, it can put a great deal of strain on the pelvic floor muscles when doing so.
  • Products to Help While performing these exercises you'll want to stay dry in the mean time, until bladder control improves. In this case, it's recommended that you purchase incontinence products.