Doing pelvic floor exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles can help you overcome incontinence, prepare for and recover from childbirth, and overcome sexual and erectile dysfunction. Jump to pelvic floor videos.
The pelvic floor is the group of muscles that stretch from side-to-side below the hip bone and from your pubic bone in front to the tailbone in rear. The pelvic floor supports your pelvic organs and the contents of your abdomen, with the openings from your bladder, your colon, and your uterus (for women) all passing through those pelvic floor muscles.
Weak pelvic floor muscles are common. These muscles become weaker with inactivity, and often through hormonal changes in women's bodies, especially pregnancy and childbirth.
Factors such as being overweight, ongoing constipation, and a chronic cough can put extra pressure on the pelvic floor and pelvic surgery can also damage the muscles, particularly in men.
A poorly toned, weak pelvic floor will not do its job properly. Women with weak pelvic floor muscles frequently experience incontinence and reduced sexual response. But research has shown that the pelvic floor responds to regular exercise and that pelvic exercise can help relieve chronic pelvic pain syndrome. For more information, see this book by a physical therapist who specialized in pelvic floor problems: Heal Pelvic Pain: The Proven Stretching, Strengthening, and Nutrition Program.
Kegel Exercises: A How-To Guide for Women from the Mayo Clinic
Kegels for Men from WebMD