26th June 2007 22:03[b:3ur0g8oz]How to contract the pelvic floor muscles[/b:3ur0g8oz] The first thing to do is to correctly identify the muscles that need to be exercised. Sit or lie down comfortably with the muscles of your thighs, buttocks and abdomen relaxed Tighten the ring of muscle around the back passage as if you are trying to control diarrhoea or wind. Relax it. Practice this movement several times until you are sure you are exercising the correct muscle. Try not to squeeze your buttocks. When you are passing urine, try to stop the flow mid-stream, then restart it. Only do this to learn which muscles are the correct ones to use and then do it no more than once a week to cheek your progress, as this may interfere with normal bladder emptying. If you are unable to feel a definite squeeze and lift action of your pelvic floor muscles or are unable to even slow the stream of urine as described in point 3, you should seek professional help to get your pelvic floor muscles working correctly. Even women with very weak pelvic floor muscles can be taught these exercises by a physiotherapist or continence advisor with expertise in this area. Top of page [b:3ur0g8oz]Doing pelvic floor exercises [/b:3ur0g8oz] If you can feel the muscles working, exercise them by: Tightening and drawing in around the anus, the vagina and the urethra all at once, lifting them UP inside. Try and hold this contraction strongly as you count to five then release and relax. You should have a definite feeling of 'letting go'. Repeat ('squeeze and lift') and relax. It is important to rest for about 10 seconds in between each contraction. If you find it easy to hold for a count of five, try to hold for longer - up to ten seconds. Repeat this as many times as you are able up to a maximum of 8-10 squeezes. Now do five to ten short, fast, but strong contractions. Do this whole exercise routine at least 4-5 times every day. [b:3ur0g8oz]While doing the exercises:[/b:3ur0g8oz] DO NOT hold your breath. DO NOT push down instead of squeezing and lifting up. DO NOT tighten your tummy, buttocks or thighs. Do your exercises well - the quality is important. Fewer good exercises will be more beneficial than many half hearted ones. Once you have learnt how to do these exercises, they should be done regularly, giving each set your full attention. It might be helpful to have at least five regular times during the day for doing the exercises. For example, after going to the toilet, when having a drink, when lying in bed.