Kegel's Exercise : Males

Original Editor - Venus Pagare

Top Contributors - Venus Pagare, Rucha Gadgil, Laura Ritchie, Evan Thomas and Kim Jackson

Introduction

The male pelvic floor muscles support the abdominal contents, are active during breathing, maintain urinary and faecal continence, increase local blood supply and are active during sexual intercourse[1].

Studies have shown that weak pelvic floor muscles compromised normal pelvic floor function and led to urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. 

Kegel exercises are exercises that can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, thereby improving post-prostatectomy urinary continence, post-micturition dribble and erectile function[2].

Causes of Pelvic Floor Muscle weakness:

  • surgery for bladder or bowel problems;
  • constipation;
  • being overweight;
  • heavy lifting;
  • coughing that goes on for a long time (such as smoker's cough, bronchitis or asthma); or
  • not being fit.

Benefits

Kegel's exercises for men help in:

  1. Male urinary incontinence : In men, urinary incontinence can be caused by a weak urinary sphincter that may result from surgery for prostate cancer, an overactive bladder, or a bladder that doesn't contract.
  2. Stress incontinence
  3. Erectile Dysfunction : Studies have shown that pelvic floor muscle activation is a under utilized but effective treatment for erectile dysfunction[1].
  4. Bowel Incontinence
  5. Post Micturation Dribble[3]

How to do Kegel's

Find the right muscles:

  1. To identify pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream. These are pelvic floor muscles. On contracting the pelvic floor muscles while looking in the mirror, the base of penis will move closer to abdomen and testicles will rise. [4]
  2. Squeeze the ring of muscle around the anus as if you are trying to stop passing wind. Now relax this muscle. Squeeze and let go a couple of times until you are sure you have found the right muscles. Try not to squeeze your buttocks.

Perfect the technique: Once identified, empty bladder and lie on back with knees bent and apart. Tighten pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for three seconds, and then relax for three seconds. Try it a few times in a row but don't overdo it. When muscles get stronger,

Progression:Try doing Kegel exercises while sitting- on a flat surface/ dynamic surface, standing or walking [4]

Maintain focus: For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Avoid holding your breath. Instead, breathe freely during the exercises. Repeat 3 times a day. Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day [4]. Increase the contraction time upto 8-10 sec.

Additional Recommendations

  • Quick contractions: After doing the slow contractions described above, do 5-10 very quick contractions (squeezes). This may help prevent an accident by quickly stopping urine leaks [5]
  • Remember to keep abdominal (stomach), back, and leg muscles relaxed during Kegel exercises. Feel only the muscles between legs (pelvic muscles), around anus, contracting. Try not to hold breath while doing these exercises [5]

Presentations

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w08iCzxnQBUKegel or not.png
Pelvic Physiotherapy - to Kegel or Not?

This presentation was created by Carolyn Vandyken, a physiotherapist who specializes in the treatment of male and female pelvic dysfunction. She also provides education and mentorship to physiotherapists who are similarly interested in treating these dysfunctions. In the presentation, Carolyn reviews pelvic anatomy, the history of Kegel exercises and what the evidence tells us about when Kegels are and aren't appropriate for our patients.

View the presentation

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dorey G, Speakman M, Feneley R, Swinkels A, Dunn C, Ewings P. Randomised controlled trial of pelvic floor muscle exercises and manometric biofeedback for erectile dysfunction. Br J Gen Pract. 2004;54(508):819–825.
  2. Dorey G. Restoring pelvic floor function in men: review of RCTs. Br J Nurs. 2005 Oct 27-Nov 9;14(19):1014-8, 1020-1.
  3. Dorey G, Speakman M, Feneley R, Swinkels A, Dunn C, Ewings P. Pelvic floor exercises for treating post-micturition dribble in men with erectile dysfunction: a randomized controlled trial. Urol Nurs. 2004 Dec;24(6):490-7, 512.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/mens-health/in-depth/kegel-exercises-for-men/art-20045074?pg=1
  5. 5.0 5.1 http://surgery.arizona.edu/sites/surgery.arizona.edu/files/pdf/Kegel%20Exercises.pdf