Kegel Exercises

After you have had an examination by your health care provider, you may be asked to do exercises to cure or improve urinary incontinence. Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic muscles, which in turn improves support for the bladder and the bladder sphincter muscles. Kegel exercise has been shown to be helpful for both men and women.

Here is how you do it:

1. Try to start and stop the flow of urine when you are on the toilet. Notice what muscles you are using. These are also the muscles you use to hold back "gas".

2. After you have located these muscles (DO NOT "exercise" while urinating).:

a. Contract them and hold tight for 3 seconds

b. Then release for 3 seconds.

Start doing this exercise a few minutes twice a day. You may exercise standing up, sitting down, or lying down.

Do NOT tighten the abdominal, leg or buttock muscles. Place your hand on these muscles to check for movement while you are performing Kegel exercises. If you can feel movement, then you are not using the correct muscles.

3. As you are able, increase the "hold" and the "relax" to 10 seconds each.

4. As you are able, increase the exercise time to 10 minutes twice a day.

Be patient. It may take up to 3 months to achieve significant results.

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