Will pelvic floor exercises REALLY help with incontinence?
Yes, they will and they have no nasty side effects. In fact, there are many benefits! When the pelvic floor muscles contract, they close the opening of the urethra and support the bladder. Both the "close" and the "lift" are necessary to keep you dry. The other benefit of strong pelvic floor muscles is that they can help you regain control of an unruly bladder. ( see previous blogs on urge incontinence).
How will it take to see results?
It takes 3-4 weeks for your muscles to "get smarter" ( learn how and when to contract-motor control) and at least 6-8 weeks to get stronger. If you have pretty good strength and just need to remind your muscles to do their job, you might see improvement pretty quickly. If your muscles need some work, then it may take you 2-3 months. So don't give up! Success may be a few Kegels away.
How long will I have to do these "blankity blank" exercises?
We recommend that you faithfully continue your daily exercise until you are happy with the results. In general, we encourage our clients to press on with their exercises for 4-5 months. Once you have reached your goal, continue with 10 repetitions per day to keeps the pads away.
Why should I try these exercises again when they didn't help in the past?
We hear this a lot. In the past you may have been given poor instructions in how and when to do Kegels. Don't blame yourself and don't blame the Kegels.
Think about these questions and you may find your answer. Are you sure you were exercising the right muscles? Did you do your exercises with both long and short holds? Did you hold your breath when you were exercising? Did you use your pelvic floor muscles during activities that caused you to leak?
If all these questions raised more questions, see previous blogs for answers.