Incontinence is sometimes a problem for men who have undergone treatment for prostate cancer. This is because the treatment can weaken the muscles around the prostate gland. Kegel exercises can help strengthen these muscles so that incontinence is less of a problem.
Diabetes and overactive bladder conditions can also weaken the pelvic floor muscles.
It’s possible that Kegel exercises can also help with erectile dysfunction, but more study is needed. Some men experience more intense orgasms after doing Kegel exercises for some time.
Men who are consistent with their Kegel exercises may see results in three to six weeks.
What are Kegel exercises?
Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and control urine flow. They can help both men and women with incontinence (leaking urine or fecal matter). They can also help with sexual function
How do men do Kegel exercises?
The first step is finding the pelvic floor muscles, which can be done while urinating. Men are advised to try stopping the flow of urine. This process can help them target the muscles and understand what Kegel exercises feel like.
From there, the steps are fairly straightforward:
Empty the bladder.
Lie on the back with knees bent and apart. (Note that some men have no trouble doing Kegel exercises standing up, especially after they’ve had some practice.)
Contract or “squeeze” the muscles for three to five seconds.
Release and relax the muscles for three to five seconds.
Doing three sets of ten Kegel exercises each day is a common routine. It can take time to reach this level, however, so men should be patient with themselves and do what they can to build gradually.
During Kegel exercises, men should breathe as they normally do. They shouldn’t hold their breath. They should also take care not to contract the muscles in the stomach, abdomen, thighs, or buttocks.
Men with a catheter in the penis should not do Kegel exercises until the catheter is removed and a physician gives approval.
Some men find it helpful to “schedule” their Kegel exercises when they do a routine activity, like getting ready for bed in the evening.
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