Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the muscles around your bladder, bottom, and vagina or penis.
Everyone can benefit from doing pelvic floor exercises.
Find your pelvic floor muscles
You can feel your pelvic floor muscles if you try to stop the flow of urine when you go to the toilet.
It's not recommended that you regularly stop the flow of urine midstream as it can be harmful to your bladder.
Pelvic floor exercises
To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, sit comfortably and squeeze the muscles 10 to 15 times.
Do not hold your breath or tighten your stomach, bottom or thigh muscles at the same time.
When you get used to doing pelvic floor exercises, you can try holding each squeeze for a few seconds.
Every week, you can add more squeezes, but be careful not to overdo it, and always have a rest between sets of squeezes.
After a few months, you should start to notice results. You should keep doing the exercises, even when you notice they're starting to work.
Pregnancy and pelvic floor exercises
If you're pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you can start doing pelvic floor exercises immediately.
The exercises will lower your chance of experiencing incontinence after having your baby.
Find out more in exercise in pregnancy.
Video: how and when should I do pelvic floor exercises?
In this video, a midwife explains how to do pelvic floor exercises and when you can practise them.
Media review due: 17 March 2020
How pelvic floor exercises can help with sex
Strong pelvic floor muscles can also mean increased sensitivity during sex and stronger orgasms.
Strengthening and training the pelvic floor muscles can help also reduce the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Page last reviewed: 14 April 2020
Next review due: 14 April 2023