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Does Pelvic Floor Training Really Help Incontinence?

Short Answer? Yes!


Those with incontinence have experienced amazing results after performing Pelvic Floor training. Most every physician will recommend pelvic floor training as a treatment, along with any medications, etc, they prescribe. Pelvic floor training consists of specific exercises called Kegels, and behavioral training. If you implement regular exercise to avoid excess weight on your bladder and bowels, and avoid certain trigger foods that increase the urge to run to go, your incontinence will reduce and may even be eliminated.


According to the Continence Foundation, even if you have heavy incontinence, your symptoms will reduce and your accidents will lessen. That being said, countless men and women have experienced complete elimination of their symptoms once they’ve implemented pelvic floor training into their life.


What Are Kegels?


Kegel training is the strengthening of your pelvic floor muscles. It’s like your bladder and bowel muscles at the gym lifting weights to train for their big day. But your pelvic floor muscles’ big day, is everyday. So kegels are very important in reducing leakage, and are definitely recommended. Kegels are the squeezing of your sphincter at different intervals during the day. It’s commonly believed that only women can perform kegels, but men can do them too. There are three different ways to perform kegels, and if you have difficulty locating your pelvic floor muscles, your doctor can help you through biofeedback. Biofeedback shows you on a screen where your pelvic floor muscles are located on a screen, so you will be able to visually see when you are doing a kegel correctly.


What do you mean by Behavioral Changes?


Behavioral changes need to be implemented at the same time. By behavioral changes, I mean how and when you choose to go to the bathroom. Many times you may think you are about to have an accident and run to the bathroom. Or you go to the bathroom more often because you want to reduce the risk of accident. This excessive amount of going to the bathroom tells your brain and body that it always needs to go. And the rush and stress of getting to the bathroom tells your body it will not be able to hold it, that you do not have the capability to control your bladder and bowels.


Well you don’t have to let your incontinence control you in this way. Even if you have a very extreme case of incontinence, pelvic floor training (kegels and behavioral) will reduce your symptoms. So in order to change this behavior, make a bathroom schedule.


Choose a reasonable interval of time in between your trips to the bathroom. An amount of time that you feel comfortable you can wait without going to the accident. Once you’ve established this amount of time, let’s say one hour, go to the bathroom every hour like clockwork. Even if you do not feel the urge to urinate. The goal here is to train your bladder according to your rules. If it is an absolute emergency you should go to the bathroom, but try your hardest not to break the schedule.


Once you have successfully not broken the schedule, increase the amount of time between bathroom trips by 15-30 minutes until you can succesfully control your leakage for up to 3 1/2 hours.


Remember that urges don’t always mean you actual have to go to the bathroom. You could void your bladder and bowels, and five minutes later feel another urge. To fight this urge, use your kegel training. Your training will strengthen, stretch and exercise the special muscles that hold and control your bladder/bowels.


What you Should Expect


Once you’ve learned how to do kegels properly, and you are exercising regularly, your pelvic floor muscles will strengthen. If you make the necessary behavioral changes, and do not run to the call of your bladder or bowels every time you feel an urge, your brain and body will realize not every little urge means the need to drain. So once you’ve made both of these changes in your life, there are many positive things you should expect.


The total number of times you go to the bathroom should reduce to about 5-7 times a day. The time in between each bathroom visit will increase up to 3-4 hours. The number of night time bathroom trips will be reduced. Your feelings of urgency to urinate or defecate will be reduced, or even eliminated. Your bladder and bowels will be able to hold more, yet your body will learn not to hold too much and drain large amounts at the same time. Your “accident” will be reduced, or eliminated entirely. And along with all of this, your anxiety and stress around your incontinence will be relieved, reduced, or eliminated entirely.




Pelvic floor training is helpful no matter what the result. Even if your leakage is not completely eliminated, isn’t decreasing the amount of time you go to the bathroom or feel the urge worth it? Keep up a healthy lifestyle, and implement pelvic floor training in your life to reduce and eliminate the symptoms of incontinence. Take control of your life!

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