Urinary incontinence is less common for men than women. It can appear after a surgery for prostate cancer (due to a weak urinary sphincter) or it can be caused by an overactive bladder, or a bladder that doesn’t contract. Fortunately, you can improve your bladder control by practising pelvic floor exercises, also called “Kegel exercises”. These exercices are pretty easy, once you have located the muscles to strengthen.
How to locate the muscles to strengthen
Halfway through urination, try to stop or slow down the flow of urine. Don’t tense the muscles in your buttocks, legs, or abdomen, and don’t hold your breath. When you can slow or stop the flow of urine, you’ve successfully located these muscles. Some men find these muscles by imagining that they are trying to stop the passage of gas. Squeezing these muscles gives a pulling sensation; these are the right muscles for pelvic exercises. It’s important not to contract other muscles.
How to do Kegel exercises
The following exercise must be repeated ten times, 3 times a day:
- first contract the muscles during 5 seconds,
- then release during 5 seconds.
At the beginning, you’ll probably find it easier to lay down while exercising. If it’s still too hard, you can also contract during three seconds instead of five. After some weeks, you’ll be able to gradually increase the duration of contractions. Of course, your ability to control urinary leakage will increase at the same time, but don’t quit if you don’t have immediate results : be patient and continue, you’ll be rewarded !