Pelvic Floor Muscles and Urinary Incontinence: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, Bladder Training and Pelvic Floor Exercises

pelvic floor muscle exercises urinary incontinence

The pelvic floor muscles are the muscles that stretch between the pubic bones and the base of the spine (coccyx or tailbone).

These muscles support the bladder, bowel, and womb (uterus). The weakness of the pelvic floor muscles is a common condition, mostly affecting women.

The pelvic floor is a structure of muscles and connective tissue that provides support and suspension structures to the pelvic and abdominal organs.

Its main component is the levator ani muscle, a muscle that covers most of the pelvis.

Most usually divide the pelvic organs into three compartments: anterior (bladder and urethra), middle (uterus and vagina, prostate and seminal vesicles) and posterior (rectum, anal canal and sphincter apparatus).

These structures are closely related to the pelvic floor musculature, which has a role in the functions of each of these. Determining mechanical support and participating in urinary and fecal continence.

The pelvis is a space that continues with the abdominal cavity and contains organs of different systems, both the urinary system (bladder and urethra), genital or reproductive system (uterus, attachments, and vagina in women) and digestive system in its more distal end (rectum and anus).

These structures are supported and anchored in the pelvic floor, a formation of muscles and connective tissue.

Its main component is the levator muscle of the anus (MEA), a tissue that covers most of the pelvis, made up of three fascicles and its open “U” or “V” shape allows passage of the distal ends of the urinary, genital and digestive systems.

Also, other fibrous connective tissue structures serve as support and suspension for these structures, such as ligaments, tendon arches, etc.


The pelvic floor muscles tend to weaken with age in both men and women gradually. Pregnancy and childbirth can also reduce the strength or even damage the pelvic floor muscles.

Some sporting activities, such as equestrian sports and professional cycling, can occasionally weaken the pelvic floor muscles. Removal of the prostate gland in men can soften these muscles.

Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. Symptoms can range from mild urine leakage to the uncontrollable discharge of urine.

It can happen to anyone, but it is more common with age. Women experience twice as much compared to men.

Most bladder control problems occur when muscles are too weak or too active. If the muscles that keep the bladder closed weaken, you may have accidents by sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects. This condition is known as stress incontinence.

If your bladder muscles are too active, you may feel a strong urge to go to the bathroom when you have little urine in the bladder. This condition is known as urge incontinence or overactive bladder.

There are other causes of incontinence, such as problems with the prostate and neurological injuries.

Treatment depends on the type of problem you have and what best suits your lifestyle. It may include simple exercises, medicines, particular devices or procedures indicated by the doctor or surgery.

Other conditions, such as obesity and chronic constipation, can tend to weaken the pelvic floor muscles.


Urinary incontinence is the primary symptom of weak pelvic floor muscles. Stress incontinence occurs when the sufferer coughs, sneezes, laughs, or exercises.

Weak pelvic floor muscles sometimes cause women to have reduced sensitivity during sex.

  • In some woman, the bladder can begin to bulge into the vagina (prolapse).
  • In men, weak pelvic floor muscles can produce erectile dysfunction.


Pelvic floor exercises (Kegel exercises) are the most common treatment for weak pelvic floor muscles. People should carry out the workout with an empty bladder.

They typically involve first sitting down and then squeezing the pelvic floor muscles 10 to 15 times. Initially, you should tighten and release the muscles immediately.

You should not press your buttock muscles or hold your breath. After some days of practice, you can try squeezing the muscles for a longer time on each squeeze.

If you suffer from urinary incontinence, it’s a good idea to contract the muscles before you sneeze, cough, laugh, or get out of a chair, since all these activities can lead to leakage.

Pregnant women are usually advised to carry out these exercises three times a day. They can be resumed as soon as possible after giving birth by standard delivery.

If the woman gave birth using a caesarean, exercises might continue once the urinary catheter (if any) gets removed, and healthier urination starts.

A scientific trial has shown that pelvic floor exercises are usually effective in reducing stress incontinence.

Compliance may be a problem. It is necessary not to overwork. If the muscles get overtaxed, urinary incontinence may increase rather than decrease.

Vaginal Cones get inserted into the vagina. The pelvic floor muscles are used to keep them in for a length of time (for example 15 minutes).

A scientific trial has shown that cones are less efficient than pelvic floor exercises in reducing stress incontinence.

Electrical Stimulation is sometimes used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Doctors can make use of a wide variety of different devices, each stated to be better than the others.

A scientific trial has shown that electrical stimulation was less effective than pelvic floor exercises. It’s a useful technique when sufferers are unable to do the usual workout (possibly because of other conditions or treatment).

Anterior Vaginal Wall Repair is a straightforward operation, used to correct prolapse of the bladder.

Bladder training and pelvic floor exercises.

Reconstruction of the bladder helps you have better control over your bladder. Kegel exercises can help strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor.

Your healthcare provider can show you how to do them. Many women do not perform these exercises correctly, even when they think they are doing them the right way.

People often benefit from strengthening and formal retraining of the bladder with a specialist in the pelvic floor.


Depending on the type of incontinence you present, your health care provider may prescribe one or more medications.

These drugs help to prevent muscle spasms, relax the bladder and improve bladder function. Your provider can help you learn how to take these medications and manage their side effects.