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Pelvic Floor Exercises


Updated November 08, 2007

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles located in the base of the pelvis that support the organs located in this region. The openings of the bladder, vagina, and rectum are surrounded by the pelvic floor muscles. This is important in that these muscles help maintain continence of urine and stool during actions that cause an increase in abdominal pressure such as sneezing, coughing, or laughing.

Aging, pregnancy, obesity, and inactivity can all cause stretching and weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. As a result, these muscles are not as effective and urinary and bowel incontinence can occur. By strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor, these problems can be avoided or reversed.

To exercise your pelvic floor, you must first learn how to contract them. The pelvic floor muscles can be easily found by pretending to stop the flow of urine. The muscles used to do this are your pelvic floor muscles. Contract them as long and as hard as you can, rest for 4 seconds, and then repeat the contraction up to a maximum of 10 times. This should be performed six times a day.

Performing this exercise daily will help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and prevent urinary and bowel incontinence.


American Family Physician.Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises. Vol. 71/No. 2.

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