Are pelvic floor exercises good for prostate health?

What men need to know …

Pelvic floor muscle exercises are often discussed in women’s health circles, and are frequently connected to pregnancy and childbirth.

We know that they can help to prevent pelvic floor problems, such as stress urinary incontinence. We also know they are great at helping to reduce symptoms of urinary leakage, pelvic organ prolapse, and the desperate urgency of overactive bladder.

But what do we know about pelvic floor exercises and men?

The research shows that men who experience urinary leakage after a prostate operation will benefit from doing pelvic floor exercises.

The research suggests that three sets of exercises a day are ideal, and some research suggests that up to six times a day is even better.

Prostate cancer

Ideally, if you know that you are due to have surgery for prostate cancer, then it would be really beneficial if you start your pelvic floor exercises before the operation.

However, we understand that this is not always practical with the short time between diagnosis and surgery, alongside feeling overwhelmed by such a diagnosis. Be reassured that it is never too late to start!

One set of exercises is normally considered to be ten slow squeezes, lasting up to ten seconds each, and ten fast squeezes. It is important to relax the muscles fully between each squeeze!

Erectile dysfunction

As well as urinary leakage, pelvic floor exercises can help men who experience erectile dysfunction following surgery. However, starting as soon as possible does make a difference in this situation, as earlier exercising usually leads to a better outcome. These exercises can also help with erectile dysfunction more generally, although the research is not as conclusive for this.

In summary

Most importantly, even though pelvic floor exercises are good for men who have had prostate surgery, or other issues leading to bladder, bowel or pelvic floor symptoms, they are not recommended as a preventative strategy.

Women should exercise three times a day to keep their pelvic floor healthy, but men should usually only do theirs when they have a symptom that they need to manage.

If in doubt, or if you are struggling to do your pelvic floor exercises, then see a pelvic health physiotherapist.

You can find a local pelvic health physiotherapist by looking in the Squeezy directory.

Send this to a friend