Doctors recommend pelvic floor exercises in various situations.
They may particularly benefit pregnant women because the pelvic floor muscles can stretch and weaken during labor. Strengthening these muscles may help prevent incontinence after the baby is born. Some doctors recommend that women who wish to become pregnant start the exercises ahead of time.
Males can also benefit from pelvic floor exercises, though the dysfunction is more common in females. In males, these exercises can help prevent pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence and improve sexual intercourse.
To exercise these muscles, a person should be sitting comfortably. Then, they should attempt to squeeze their pelvic muscles without holding their breath.
It is important to isolate the correct muscles without tightening those of the stomach, buttocks, or and thighs.
Doctors recommend that females aim to do 10 long squeezes — holding each for 10 seconds — followed by 10 short squeezes. However, initially, it may be a good idea to practice holding a squeeze for a few seconds at a time.
By practicing frequently, a person should be able to add more contractions to their routine week by week. It is important to do this gradually and to avoid overworking the muscles.
Within a few months, a person may notice a reduction in their symptoms. Even if symptoms resolve completely, a person should continue strengthening these muscles.
There are physical therapists who specialize in pelvic floor dysfunction. A person may find that consulting one of these professionals leads to a better outcome.
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