What are pelvic floor exercises?

Pelvic floor exercises, also known as kegel exercises, are one of the most effective ways of improving and maintaining bowel and bladder functions. They work by increasing the strength of the pelvic floor and can improve or even eliminate incontinence.

Our pelvic floor consists of a group of muscles that runs from the pubic bone to the spine, and holds your uterus, vagina, bowel and bladder in place.

These muscles are easy to train with pelvic floor exercises which can be started at any age.

What are the benefits of pelvic floor exercises?

As well as strengthening the pelvic floor and consequently being able to improve and even eliminate bedwetting and incontinence, other benefits of pelvic floor exercises include:

• prevent prolapse

• increased sensitivity during sex and stronger orgasms for women

• reduced symptoms of erectile dysfunction for men

• less risk of incontinence after pregnancy when done during pregnancy and after birth.

How to do pelvic floor exercises

Don't hold your breath or tighten your stomach, buttock or thigh muscles at the same time. 
When you know how to do the exercise in a correct way, aim to squeeze and hold for 5 seconds (or as long as you are able to physically squeeze really hard) – then relax the muscles for 5 seconds. 
Repeat 5 to 10 times depending on how strong you are. Aim to do these exercises 3 to 4 times a day. Start with laying or sitting, and as you get stronger you can then do the exercises standing.
After a few months, you should start to notice the results. You should carry on doing the exercises, even when you notice them starting to work, for continued results.
If you want to learn more about specific types of exercises, check out our pages on pelvic floor exercises for women, pelvic floor exercises for men and pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy. You can track your pelvic progress with the TENA Pelvic Floor Fitness app.
For incontinence protection in the meantime, we have products fit for every leak, for both men and women.