Kegel Exercises: Care Instructions

Overview

Kegel exercises strengthen muscles around the bladder. These muscles control the flow of urine. Kegel exercises are sometime called "pelvic floor" exercises. They can help prevent urine leakage and keep the pelvic organs in place.

Kegel exercises can strengthen pelvic muscles that have been weakened by age, pregnancy, childbirth, and surgery. They may help prevent or treat urine leakage.

You do Kegel exercises by tightening the muscles you use when you urinate. You will likely need to do these exercises for several weeks to get better.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Do Kegel exercises.
    • Find the muscles you need to strengthen. To do this, tighten the muscles that stop your urine while you are going to the bathroom. These are the same muscles you squeeze during Kegel exercises.
    • Squeeze the muscles as hard as you can. Your belly and thighs should not move.
    • Hold the squeeze for 3 seconds. Then relax for 3 seconds.
    • Start with 3 seconds, and then add 1 second each week until you are able to squeeze for 10 seconds.
    • Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times for each session. Do three or more sessions each day.
  • You can check to see if you are using the right muscles.
    • Tighten the muscles that help you stop passing gas or keep you from urinating. Make sure you aren't using your stomach, leg, or buttock muscles.
    • Place a finger in your vagina and squeeze around it. You are doing them right when you feel pressure around your finger. Your doctor may also suggest that you put special weights in your vagina while you do the exercises.
  • Check with your doctor if you don't notice a difference after trying these exercises for several weeks. Your doctor may suggest getting help from a physical therapist or recommend other treatment.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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