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Kegel exercises for men: Understand the benefits
Kegel exercises for men can help improve bladder control and possibly improve sexual performance. Here's a guide to doing Kegel exercises correctly.By Mayo Clinic staff
Think Kegel exercises are just for women? Think again.
Kegel exercises for men can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and bowel and affect sexual function. With practice, Kegel exercises for men can be done discreetly just about anytime — whether you're relaxing on the couch or driving your car.
Before you start doing Kegel exercises, find out how to locate the correct muscles and understand the proper technique.
Benefits of Kegel exercises for men
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|Male pelvic floor muscles|
Many factors can weaken your pelvic floor muscles, including the surgical removal of the prostate (radical prostatectomy) and conditions such as diabetes and overactive bladder.
You might benefit from doing Kegel exercises if you:
- Have urinary or fecal incontinence
- Dribble after urination — usually after you've left the bathroom
Some studies suggest that Kegel exercises for men might also benefit some men who have erectile dysfunction. However, further research is needed.
How to do Kegel exercises for men
It takes diligence to identify your pelvic floor muscles and understand how to contract and relax them. Here are some pointers:
- Find the right muscles. To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream or tighten the muscles that keep you from passing gas. These are your pelvic floor muscles. If you contract your pelvic floor muscles while looking in the mirror, the base of your penis will move closer to your abdomen and your testicles will rise.
- Perfect your technique. Once you've identified your pelvic floor muscles, empty your bladder and lie on your back with your knees bent and apart. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for three seconds, and then relax for three seconds. Try it a few times in a row but don't overdo it. When your muscles get stronger, try doing Kegel exercises while sitting, standing or walking.
- Maintain your focus. For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Avoid holding your breath. Instead, breathe freely during the exercises.
- Repeat 3 times a day. Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.
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- Urinary incontinence in men. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/uimen/. Accessed June 14, 2012.
- Glazener C, et al. Urinary incontinence in men after formal one-to-one pelvic floor muscle training following radical prostatectomy or transurethral resection of the prostate (MAPS): Two parallel randomized controlled trials. The Lancet. 2011;378:328.
- Goode PS, et al. Behavioral therapy with or without biofeedback and pelvic floor electrical stimulation for persistent postprostatectomy incontinence. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2011;305:151.