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PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLE TRAINING FOR MEN


WHAT ARE THE PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES?

The floor of the pelvis is made up of layers of muscle and other tissues. These layers stretch like a hammock from the tailbone at the back, to the pubic bone in front.

A man’s pelvic floor muscles support his bladder and bowel (colon). The urine tube and the back passage pass through the pelvic floor muscles. Your pelvic floor muscles help you to control your bladder and bowel. They also help sexual function. It is vital to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong.

Men's pelvic floor muscles

WHY SHOULD I DO PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLE TRAINING?

Men of all ages need to have strong pelvic floor muscles.

Pelvic floor muscles can be made weaker by:

Men with stress incontinence – that is, men who wet themselves when they cough, sneeze or are active – will find pelvic floor muscle training can help in getting over this problem.

Pelvic floor muscle training may also be of use for men who have an urgent need to pass urine more often (called urge incontinence).

Men who have problems with bowel control might find pelvic floor muscle training can help the muscle that closes the back passage. This muscle is one of the pelvic floor muscles.


WHERE ARE MY PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES?

The first thing to do is to find out which muscles you need to train.

  1. Sit or lie down with the muscles of your thighs and buttocks relaxed. It may be helpful to use a hand mirror to watch your pelvic floor muscles as they pull up.
  2. Squeeze the ring of muscle around the back passage as if you are trying to stop passing wind. Now relax this muscle. Squeeze and let go a couple of times until you are sure you have found the right muscles. Try not to squeeze your buttocks.
  3. When you go to the toilet to empty your bladder, try to stop the stream of urine, then start it again. Do this to learn which muscles are the right ones to use - but only once a week. Your bladder may not empty the way it should if you stop and start your stream more often than that.
  4. Stand sideways in front of a mirror with no clothes on. As you pull in your pelvic floor muscles strongly and hold them, you should see your penis draw in and your scrotum lift up.

If you don’t feel a distinct “squeeze and lift” of your pelvic floor muscles, or if you can’t slow your stream of urine as talked about in Point 3, or you do not see any lift of your scrotum and penis as talked about in Point 4, ask for help from your doctor, physiotherapist, or continence nurse. They will help you to get your pelvic floor muscles working right. Men with very weak pelvic floor muscles can benefit from pelvic floor muscle training.


HOW DO I DO PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLE TRAINING?

Now that you can feel the muscles working, you can:

While doing pelvic floor muscle training


DO YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLE TRAINING WELL

Fewer good squeezes are better than a lot of half hearted ones! If you are not sure that you are doing the squeezes right, or if you do not see a change in symptoms after 3 months, ask for help from your doctor, physiotherapist, or continence nurse.


MAKE THE TRAINING PART OF YOUR DAILY LIFE

Once you have learnt how to do pelvic floor muscle squeezes, you should do them. Every day is best. You should give each set your full focus. Make a regular time to do your pelvic floor muscle squeezes. This might be after going to the toilet, when having a drink, or when lying in bed.

Other things you can do to help your pelvic floor muscles:


SEEK HELP

If you do nothing it won’t go away. And it might get worse.

Every bladder or bowel control problem, no matter how small, needs to be looked after. There is almost always something that can be done to help.

Call Expert Advisors on the National Continence Helpline for free:

On FREE CALL* 1800 33 00 66 (8 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday), or

Visit this website: www.bladderbowel.gov.au

The Helpline is funded under the Commonwealth Government’s National Continence Management Strategy and managed by the Continence Foundation of Australia.

* Calls from mobile telephones are charged at applicable rates.



Logo  NATIONAL CONTINENCE HELPLINE 1800 33 00 66  |  www.bladderbowel.gov.au  |  October 2010