The exercises most effective for Urinary Stress and Urge Incontinence are known as pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises. These exercises help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that are involved in urination. The Kegel exercises are ideal for treating stress incontinence and urge incontinence.
Before we start talking about performing Kegel exercises, here are quick definitions for stress incontinence and urge incontinence.
- Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is the involuntary escape of urine due to strain on the orifice of the bladder, as in sneezing or coughing. Urinary leakage associated with an increase in the pressure within the abdomen. The leakage is usually slight, but can be moderate or severe.
- Urge Urinary Incontinence is the involuntary leakage accompanied by or immediately preceded by urgency. The typical symptoms are urinary frequency, urgency and abnormally excessive urination during the night.
In performing Kegel exercises it is important to make sure that you are exercising the correct muscles. The easiest way to determine this is to go to the bathroom and start to urinate, then stop the flow of urine. The muscles you just used to stop the flow of urine are your pelvic floor muscles. Now this will be the same contraction to perform during a Kegel exercise. You should not focus on the buttocks, abdominal or stomach muscle.
To do Kegel exercises:
- Squeeze the same muscles you would use to stop your urine. Your belly and rear end (buttocks) should not move.
- Hold the squeeze for 3 seconds, then relax for 3 seconds.
- Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times a session. Do three or more sessions a day
It is recommended that a person NOT try and perform Kegel exercises with a bladder that is full or when there is an urge to urinate. The bladder should be voided prior to beginning Kegel Exercises.
Remember success does not happen overnight. Improvement is usually gradual and my take several months. Kegel exercises require a high level of motivation and frequent repetition to be successful. Women who do Kegel exercises are more likely to improve, and even cure, their incontinence.
Note: Kegel exercises do not pose any risks to health. We always recommend that you seek medical advice if you experience bladder problems.
Your Incontinence Partner