Hi, I’m male and 56-year-old. I would class myself as a very active person and take part in a lot of physical activity I go to the gym regularly and like to go jogging or walking in my free time. I’ve recently noticed when I do any physical activity I have started to leak urine and I find this very embarrassing. It is putting me off doing the things I love and making me nervous on a daily basis in case other people notice. I really need some help on what to do to treat me or what products may protect me. I don’t know why this has suddenly started but I need to get it sorted as soon as possible so I can try get on with my life as normal as possible.
Yes, there are exercises that males can do to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles as well.
Here are some exercises you can try:
Kegel exercises are a popular way for men to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The following steps will ensure you do this correctly:
- Stop urination during mid-flow. While you are urinating, attempt to stop and start your urine stream. The muscles you are using here are the pelvic floor muscles. Hold this position for a few seconds and then repeat to practice this exercise.
- Squeeze your anus muscles. Contract the anus muscles you normally use to prevent yourself from passing gas, or to hold in a bowel movement. These muscles are your pelvic floor muscles. To ensure you are doing this correctly, contract and release your anus muscles repeatedly. If you feel a lifting or pulling sensation on your anus, you are doing this exercise correctly.
- Ensure you are using the right muscles! To practise the exercises, stand in front of the mirror. Try to lift your penis vertically, however, keep your buttocks, abdominal and thigh muscles still. You should use the mirror to focus on the pelvic muscles and to detect the use of any other muscles. Do this exercise repeatedly in front of the mirror until you feel confident with the exercise. If you notice yourself tightening your buttocks, thigh or abdominal muscles, you should stop the exercise.
- Contact your doctor. Although you may be embarrassed to talk to a Doctor about incontinence, you should contact a Doctor if you are having trouble targeting your pelvic floor muscles. They will be able to work with you and give you techniques to target these muscles. In some cases, doctors may use a technique called biofeedback training to help their patients isolate their pelvic floor muscles. This is nothing to worry about, as it is a painless process that uses special sensors and a computer monitor to display information about muscle activity.
The fast and slow twitch
These two exercises can be done anywhere and in any position you’re most comfortable in.
It is useful to start practising these exercises in the following position:
Sit on a chair or toilet seat with your feet flat on the floor. Ensure your legs are slightly apart. Lean forward, and rest your elbows on your knees.
You should start with this exercise first.
- Draw up the muscles around the back passage like you are trying to stop passing wind. Be careful not to contract your buttock muscles while doing this
- Draw up the muscles around your urethra like you are trying to stop the flow of urine
- Hold for as long as you can
- Slowly relax and let go
- Do as many repetitions as you can until you start to feel your muscles getting tired
- Gradually increase the length of time that you hold each contraction (build up to 10 seconds or more if you feel you can)
The Fast Twitch
- Pull up the pelvic floor muscles as you did in the previous exercise
- Hold for one second and then relax
- Repeat until your muscles feel tired
The more you practice these exercises, the easier it will become.
Do you need any further guidance on lifestyle changes you can make in the meantime?