World Continence week runs from 20th – 26th June, and we’d like to raise awareness of the issues surrounding Incontinence and offer practical ways you can strengthen your own Pelvic floor.
Did you know there are more than 1.3 million boys or men in Australia who live with incontinence? The Continence Foundation of Australia are once again running their BINS4Blokes campaign to promote the installation of incontinence product disposal bins in male public toilet facilities. Since the launch in 2021, the campaign has been trialed and now runs permanently in various businesses, councils, sporting and entertainment venues across Australia.
Pelvic Floor Health for Men
Pelvic floor muscle exercises can help men with:
- improving bladder and bowel control
- better recovery after prostate surgery
- increased sexual sensation
- increased social confidence and quality of life.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that act like a hammock from the pubic bone to the coccyx at the back and sitting bones at the sides. These muscles support your bladder and bowel as they wrap firmly around your Urethra and Rectum to help keep them shut.
Pelvic Health Exercises
The pelvic floor muscles can be trained with regular, targeted exercises. It is possible to regain control over them and train them to work effectively.
It is important to identify them correctly before starting on a pelvic floor exercise program- see video below.
It can be difficult to find the Pelvic floor muscles and it does take practice to do the exercises. If you need assistance, please speak to your trained Pelvic Health Physiotherapist or a Nurse specialising in Continence.
How to Complete Pelvic Health Exercises
1. Whilst sitting, standing or lying down, squeeze and draw in the muscles around your anus (back passage. Lift them UP inside. You should have a sense of “lift” each time you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. Try to hold them strong and tight as you count to 8. Now, let them go and relax. You should have a distinct feeling of “letting go”. If you can’t hold for 8, just hold for as long as you can.
2. Repeat “squeeze and lift” and let go. It is best to rest for about 8 seconds in between each lift up of the muscles. Repeat this as many times as you can, up to a limit of 8 to 10 squeezes. This equals one set. Try to do 3 Sets per day.
- Keep breathing
- Only squeeze and lift
- Don’t tighten your buttocks
- Keep your thighs relaxed
Some general ways to Improve Pelvic Floor Strength and Stay Regular!
One of our wonderful Pelvic Health Physiotherapist’s Jess, has put together some great tips to improve your Pelvic floor strength
- Rise and Shine!
Research has shown that having at least an hour in the morning to get ready before rushing off to start your day, helps to get the bowel in the habit of opening regularly and completely
- Get your Kiwi on
Kiwi fruit has been found to be excellent for healthy bowel movements, and tastes great to boot!
- Drink up!
Aim for 2lts of water/day to flush the bladder and keep bowel movement nice and soft
- Go easy on the good stuff
Caffeine and alcohol are known to be bladder irritants. If you find yourself rushing to the toilet, scale back on the coffee and booze.
- Find a footstool
A footstool approx. 7-15cm high (depending on your height) can help you to get into a good position to help effectively clear the bowel and bladder.
- Go Moo!
Use your breath and noises like moo rather than pushing when doing a poo
- What does your poo say about you?
Pellet poos and straining tells us the stool has stayed in the bowel too long and become dry.
Loose, uncontrolled motions means the bowel hasn’t had enough time to absorb nutrients and water. A Fibre rich diet full of veggies and fruit with plenty of water can help you achieve a happy medium.
- Motion is Lotion!
Regular exercise is essential for bowel and pelvic floor function. Aiming for 30 mins exercise 3-4 times per week will help to keep your whole body healthy.
Pelvic Health Physiotherapists at SPHC
If you know of someone suffering that may need assistance, we have Pelvic Health Physios trained to manage or even cure incontinence. Call for more information or to book on 38691099, or read more below.
SPHC Pelvic Health Services –
Incontinence Foundation Website –