Pelvic Floor Excercises for Men
The pelvic floor is made of layers of muscles which stretch like a hammock from the tail bone at the back to the pubic bone in the front. These muscles play an important role in bladder and bowel control as they support both the bladder and bowel as well as sexual function. The urethra and the back passage pass through the pelvic floor muscles.
It is extremely important you keep your pelvic muscles strong as this will improve both your bladder and bowel control.
Pelvic floor muscles may be weakened by:
- Bladder or bowel surgery
- Heavy lifting
- Chronic coughing
- High impact exercises
Identify your pelvic floor muscles
It’s extremely important you identify the correct muscles. You can do this several ways:
- When you go to the toilet try and stop the flow of urine and then start again. If you are able to do this, then you are squeezing the correct muscles.
- Stand in front of the mirror with no clothes on and tighten your pelvic floor muscles. If you are doing this correctly, you will notice your penis drawn in and the scrotum lift up.
If you are not able to do either of the above then it’s extremely important you see your Continence Physiotherapist or Urology Nurse who will be able to advise you on the correct technique.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
Now that you have identified which muscles are working, please do the following:
- Squeeze and draw in muscles around your urethra and back passage as the same time. Try holding the inward squeeze longer (up to 10 seconds) before relaxing. If you feel comfortable with this then repeat this up to 8- 10 times. This should be done three times per day.
- It is best you rest in between each repeat squeeze and lift.
- Ensure you breathe normally while you squeeze in.
- The exercises can be done standing, lying or sitting with your legs apart. Please ensure you stomach, buttock and thigh muscles remain relaxed.
When do you commence pelvic floor training?
Pelvic floor exercises should start 4-6 weeks prior to surgery to enable you to incorporate these into your daily routine.
Following surgery, it is advised you don’t commence your pelvic floor exercises until the removal of your catheter as the catheter may irritate and cause some discomfort.
Following removal of your catheter you may start your pelvic floor exercises straight away.
Other things you need to do to keep your pelvic floor exercises healthy
- Drink adequate fluids – 1.5-2 L per day. Limit fluids that may irritate the bladder such as caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks.
- Eat a healthy diet high in fibre. Ensure your diet has an adequate amount of fruit and vegetables, cereals and legumes. This will help prevent constipation and cause unnecessary strain on your bowel.
- Exercise regularly to maintain your weight and general wellbeing. Walking is a simple exercise. Please consult your doctor before you return to more vigorous exercise.
More information can be obtained from
Continence Foundation of Australia
Free call: 1800 330 066
Pelvic Floor Muscle Training for Men
Continence and Prostate, A guide for men undergoing prostate surgery
Further information can be obtained from your specialist, continence nurse or urology nurse.