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Pelvic floor muscle exercises


What we do

The pelvic floor muscles have several jobs including:

  • Keeping you continent
  • Supporting the pelvic contents
  • Providing spinal and pelvic stability
  • Contributing to sexual function & sensation

These muscles ability to function can be affected by many factors including: hormonal changes, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, surgery, pain or trauma, and there can often be an emotional link.

When these muscles are not working correctly, it can contribute to problems such as:

  • Issues controlling the bowel and bladder (incontinence)
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Constipation or pain during opening the bowels

Who is it for?

Pelvic floor exercises can be helpful for anyone with pelvic floor weakness, bladder or bowel issues (such as incontinence) or prolapse.

Can anyone use this service?

Yes, you can be referred by your GP, Midwife, Consultant, Continence nurse or other therapist.

You can also self-refer by calling 01443 715012 for a self-assessment form.

What to expect

Research shows that almost half of us do pelvic floor exercises incorrectly.
It is important if you have any doubts or symptoms therefore, to be assessed by a specialist pelvic health physiotherapist.

It is important to do the exercise correctly and not to allow other muscles nearby to join in:

  • Tighten around the back passage as if to stop passing wind
  • Then squeeze as if stopping a wee
  • If possible, aim this squeeze upwards and forwards (by trying to draw the back passage towards the pubic bone)
  • Finally, make sure you fully release & let go of the muscles

Squeeze your pelvic floor and hold for a few seconds, making sure you fully let go after each squeeze. Try and hold until your pelvic floor muscles get tired and do as many repetitions as you feel you can. Stop if you can feel other muscles trying to join in.
Aim to hold for 10 seconds and repeat this 10 times with a 5-10 second rest in between each hold.

Squeeze quickly and immediately let go fully.
Repeat this as many times as you can, stopping when your pelvic floor muscles tire or when other muscles try and join in. Ideally aiming for 10 reps.

The above is a guide only, as many people are unable to achieve this at first but with practice it should become a lot easier. Start off lying, then progress to sitting and finally standing. A Physiotherapist can assess your pelvic floor muscles and then give you an individual exercise program that is right for your current ability and strength.

Contact us

Our admin team can be reached on 01443 715012 between 8:30 and 15:30. We currently offer appointments at Princess of Wales Hospital, The Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Ysbyty Cwm Cynon, and Prince Charles Hospital. If you would prefer your assessment and treatment to be carried out in Welsh, this is possible currently at Ysbyty Cwm Cynon Hospital, Mountain Ash. Please request this when phoning to book your appointment. It is important that you let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend your agreed appointment. This allows us to offer the appointment slot to another patient and therefore keep our waiting lists as short as possible. Failing to attend without prior notice may result in being discharged from our service.

We welcome patient feedback and suggestions on how we can continue to improve the service we offer so please get in touch with any comments you may have or if you wish to speak to one of the Pelvic Health Physiotherapy team.

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