Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
Helping Women Achieve an Improved Quality of Life with Pelvic Muscle Exercise
Aurora’s specially-trained occupational and physical therapists can help women find relief from uncomfortable incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse concerns with a personalized plan of pelvic floor muscle exercises. An effective way to strengthen a woman’s pelvic floor muscles, these exercises may be used to:
- Enhance sexual sensation
- Improve support to the bladder, vagina, uterus and rectum to help prevent pelvic prolapse
- Help manage pelvic and ano-rectal pain
- Help stabilize the pelvis and the spine during movement and exercise
- Prevent or control urinary and bowel incontinence
Education and Guidance
To make sure you are gaining the maximum benefit from pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises, the physician specialists and physical therapists at Aurora Health Care help patients:
Properly identify the pelvic floor muscles: To first step is to make sure you are targeting the correct muscles. Suggested methods may include:
- Squeeze the muscles around your vagina and anus as if to hold back urine and/or gas. If you are a tampon user, you can imagine squeezing the vagina as if bringing the tampon higher into the vagina.
- Insert a finger into the vagina and attempt to squeeze the muscles surrounding your finger. You should feel a tightening or slight drawing up sensation. You can also try contracting these muscles during intercourse.
- Use a hand held mirror to observe the vaginal opening. As you squeeze and draw up the pelvic muscles you should see a central closing of the vagina and labia.
- Try to slow or stop the flow of urine midstream, then continue emptying your bladder. Never do this repeatedly as an exercise - only as a way to identify the sensation of using your pelvic muscles.
- Learn effective pelvic floor exercise techniques: Most people do not do pelvi muscle exercises correctly and because of the location of these muscles the exercises can be difficult to master. They can be done while lying down, sitting, standing, and even while doing other forms of exercise, such as Pilates. Learning different styles and practicing different levels of intensity can improve the effectiveness and safety of pelvic floor exercise.
Personalized Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercise Programs
Like all exercise programs, pelvic floor muscle exercises are most effective when they are tailored to meet your individual needs. Once you have mastered the correct technique for contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles, the specially-trained therapists at Aurora can design for you an appropriate exercise routine. They can also prescribe other treatment options and discuss lifestyle factors to help you maintain and improve the strength and function of your pelvic floor muscles.
Request an appointment today to address your incontinence or pelvic floor disorder concerns.