Pelvic Floor Exercises

Daily pelvic floor exercises are recommended during pregnancy and after birth to help prevent symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction such as bladder and bowel leakage or prolapse.
Pelvic floor exercises or ‘Kegels’ can be performed in any position. Find one which is comfortable for you. You may find lying or sitting easier if your muscles feel weak. You can try standing when they are stronger.

Imagine that you are trying to stop yourself from passing wind and wee at the same time. You can also think of squeezing tight in the vagina. You should feel your pelvic floor muscles ‘squeeze and lift’ inside. Don’t hold your breath or clench your buttocks. You may feel a gentle tightening in your lower tummy, which are your deep tummy muscles working to help the pelvic floor.

Pelvic Floor Exercise Programme

Your pelvic floor exercises should include long squeezes and short, quick squeezes. 

Long Squeezes 

  • Squeeze and lift your pelvic floor muscles tight, hold for up to 10 seconds and release. 
  • Repeat your long squeezes, with a rest in between each, until you feel that your muscles are tired.  

Short Squeezes 

  • Quickly squeeze and lift your pelvic floor muscles and immediately relax and lower them. 
  • Always let the muscles fully relax before the next squeeze. 

How Often Should I Do Pelvic Floor Exercises?

Try and repeat this programme three times a day. Build up to do 10 long squeezes for 10 seconds, then 10 short squeezes. You may need to start by doing a little and often until the muscles get stronger.

Build up your exercise programme over the following weeks and months. You should notice the exercises getting easier in around 3-5 months.

Once improved continue to practice them once a day to maintain the improvement. You may find the NHS squeezy app useful to support you with your daily pelvic floor exercises.

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