Help your patients achieve better continence.

Research shows that strengthening the pelvic floor muscles (Kegel exercises) can cure 84% of women who are battling incontinence post pregnancy or menopause. And it’s a simple process you can talk your patients through.

What are pelvic floor muscles?

There are many reasons why it’s vital to keep the pelvic floor muscles strong. The pelvic floor consists of layers of muscle and tissues that stretch from tailbone to pubic bone, not unlike a hammock. These muscles support the bladder, uterus and bowel, and help control bladder and bowel function as well as sexual function.

How to instruct your patients to exercise their pelvic floor muscles:

  1. Stand, lie or sit straight. Keep breathing evenly and normally.
  2. Relax your thigh, bottom and lower tummy muscles. Let go completely (this is very important!)
  3. Draw in the muscles around the vagina. Feel the muscles contract then relax.
  4. Draw in the muscles around the anus and then relax them. Feel a lift-and-squeeze inside the pelvis.

Once your patients’ have mastered the above four steps, tell them to:

  1. Squeeze the muscles around the rectum and vagina simultaneously and lift them up (in, rather than out!). They should be able to feel their pelvic floor “lift” each time they squeeze. Have them count to 8 while they hold them tight, then let go and relax.
  2. Repeat step 1 as many times as they can – but don’t go over 12 repetitions.
  3. Remind them to let go between squeezes. They should rest for around 8 seconds between exercises.
  4. Suggest they try to do three sets of 8 or 12 squeezes, with a longer rest in between.

Once they’ve mastered the above four steps, they can start building up the time they contract their muscles from 3 to 10 seconds. Then ask them to each exercise follow with 3 quick squeezes, making sure they relax fully between each one. Get them to repeat this three times, and rest between each set.

Ultimately, they should be able to build up slowly to working their pelvic floor 10 times in a row, with an aim to repeat the exercise set 3 times every day, especially if the pelvic muscles are weak.

If your patient is unsure they are performing the pelvic floor exercises effectively there are some great products on the market to assist. One such product is the PeriCoach System which, using its discreet sensor unit, smartphone app and data monitoring, provides instant feedback whilst performing pelvic floor exercises.

For more details and answers to our most frequently asked questions about pelvic floor exercises, visit our online article here.