Kegel exercises for men body

Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that may be weakened during prostate cancer treatment. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located under the bladder. It surrounds the upper part of the urethra, the tube where urine travels from the bladder and through the penis.

What are The Pelvic Floor Muscles?

The muscles that surround the prostate gland include the sphincter muscle, the muscle responsible for opening and closing the urethra, and the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and control urine flow.

Incontinence (urine leakage) is a common side effect of prostate cancer treatment, including prostatectomy and radiation therapy. The pelvic floor muscles are in close proximity to the prostate. Any tissue changes surrounding this area can lead to urinary and fecal incontinence, typically at its worst as the body heals and inflammation settles soon after treatment.

Furthermore, the patient may develop deep scar tissue, which affects the pelvic floor, leading to long-term changes in the structure and function of the muscles.

What are Kegel Exercises?

According to UCLA Health – Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, simple yet effective Kegel exercises can be performed before and after prostate cancer treatment to fortify your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are key in managing your urine flow. As a non-invasive and drug-free method, Kegel exercises are a highly effective strategy for managing incontinence.

Kegel exercises involve contracting the pelvic floor muscles, holding the contraction for a few seconds (usually around three to five seconds), and then relaxing them.

The Benefits of Doing Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises are recommended before and after treatment to strengthen these muscles and help control urine flow.

Kegel exercises are easy and convenient, as they only take a few minutes daily. They can be an effective way to control incontinence without medication or surgery. Some men report a reduction in urine leakage and an improvement in urine control, which can positively impact their quality of life and self-esteem.
It’s important to note that every patient is different, and the results of doing kegel exercises vary. Additionally, incontinence is a side effect of some but not all prostate cancer treatments.

When and How Often Should You Do Kegel Exercises?

Kegel exercises are most effective when started at least six weeks before prostate cancer treatment. The earlier you start doing them daily, the better you’ll become, and the more you’ll strengthen your pelvic floor muscles before treatment. Like any other muscle, consistency and time are crucial to strengthening them. A plan is recommended to ensure you’ll be consistent with your exercises.

Will Urine Leakage Stop by Doing Kegel Exercises?

While most men take nine to twelve weeks to regain control of urine leakage after prostate cancer treatment or surgery, research shows that kegel exercises help to reduce that time, but each patient is different.

It’s easy to become discouraged if your urine leakage persists, but continuing to do kegel exercises daily can provide results. Perhaps you’ll see a significant improvement, but you’ll also prevent it from worsening. For the health of your pelvic floor, keep doing daily kegel exercises.
Please speak to your doctor if you have questions about kegel exercises or other ways to improve urine leakage.

How To Do Kegel Exercises

First, locate your pelvic floor muscles. You can do this by mimicking how you would stop urinating midstream and paying attention to the muscles that activate. Next, follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. ‘Squeeze’ and hold your pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds, being sure not to hold your breath.
  2. Be mindful of the muscles you’re using, and don’t tighten your abs, butt, or thigh muscles. Focus only on squeezing the pelvic muscles together tightly.
  3. Release and relax for a few seconds, and repeat.

You have just completed one kegel exercise. Ideally, you’ll want to do 20 kegel exercises 3-4 times daily. You may not be able to complete 20 at first, but remember, just like any muscle, you’ll need to train the pelvic floor muscles to strengthen them consistently. If you’re concerned about the side effects of prostate-related treatment, speak with your doctor about your options.

Blog posts from Profound Medical are for general information only. The content should not be considered medical advice. If you are in need of professional medical advice or assistance, please reach out to your local doctor or clinic.

Jan 10, 2024 | TULSA Procedure

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