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Kegel Exercises: Care Instructions


Kegel exercises strengthen muscles around the bladder. These muscles control the flow of urine. Kegel exercises are sometime called "pelvic floor" exercises. They can help prevent urine leakage and keep the pelvic organs in place.

Kegel exercises can strengthen pelvic muscles that have been weakened by age, pregnancy, childbirth, and surgery. They may help prevent or treat urine leakage.

You do Kegel exercises by squeezing your pelvic floor muscles. You will likely need to do these exercises for several weeks to get better.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • To do Kegel exercises:
    • Squeeze your muscles as if you were trying not to pass gas. Or squeeze your muscles as if you were stopping the flow of urine. Your belly, legs, and buttocks shouldn't move.
    • Hold the squeeze for 3 seconds, then relax for 5 to 10 seconds.
    • Start with 3 seconds, then add 1 second each week until you are able to squeeze for 10 seconds.
    • Repeat the exercise 10 times a session. Do 3 to 8 sessions a day.
  • When learning what muscles to squeeze, you can try stopping the flow of urine a few times. But don't make it a practice to do Kegels while urinating.
  • If doing these exercises causes pain, stop doing them and talk with your doctor. Sometimes people have pelvic floor muscles that are too tight. In these cases, doing Kegel exercises may cause more problems.
  • Check with your doctor if you don't notice a difference after trying these exercises for several weeks. Your doctor may suggest getting help from a physiotherapist or recommend other treatment.

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