Pelvic floor health for men
Yes, pelvic floor exercises for men are a thing, and yes, you should do them!
There’s not really a lot of chat about pelvic floor muscles in cisgender men – not until we get older and they start causing problems. But your pelvic floor supports all that other fun biology in your pelvis, including the bits you use for sex.
A weak pelvic floor can produce all sorts of worrying symptoms in men of any age, and the causes in younger men are – ironically enough – often things we do to stay fit, like lifting weights. But don’t give up on your quest to become the best power bottom in town just yet!
Let’s get to know your pelvic floor, so you can develop a whole different kind of inner strength.
Where are the male pelvic floor muscles?
The pelvic floor is a criss-cross ‘sling’ or ‘hammock’ of muscles between your tailbone and your pelvis. The pelvic floor muscles support all of your pelvic organs, such as your bladder and bowel.
Why should men take care of their pelvic floor?
Your pelvic floor plays a crucial role in some of your most important bodily functions, including bladder and bowel control. Your pelvic floor muscles also support your sexual function (mainly your ability to get and maintain an erection), and may even have a role in sexual arousal and pleasure.
If you’re not standing to attention quite like you used to, there could be other options before reaching for a certain little blue pill. Read on and take a hard look at Pills, pricks and pleasure – firm safety advice for medicated hard-ons.
What are the symptoms of a weak pelvic floor in men?
If you’ve got any urinary or bowel symptoms you’re not sure about, the first thing you should do is see a doctor.
That said, there are a number of telltale signs that your pelvic floor might be struggling. A lot of these can build up gradually over time so you often won’t notice there’s anything wrong until it’s causing a problem you can’t ignore. Although these symptoms can often be due to other things in men, it’s worth checking in with a doctor if you notice:
- difficulty emptying your bladder or bowels
- accidentally losing control of your bladder or bowels (incontinence), especially when laughing or coughing, or during physical activity
- leaking urine after you piss
- the frequent and urgent need to piss
- trouble getting or maintaining an erection
What causes pelvic floor issues in men?
While your pelvic floor can lose strength naturally as you age, there are a number of things that can weaken or damage your pelvic floor muscles. Some of the most common ones are:
- being overweight
- some surgeries, including prostate surgery (talk to your doctor before starting any exercises after surgery — speaking of prostates, how well do you know yours?)
- ongoing constipation and/or straining when you have a bowel movement (shit)
- heavy lifting, especially weighted squats and lunges
- high-impact exercise (anything that gets both feet off the ground at the same time)
The good news is there’s no need to stop squatting or give up your favourite CrossFit class. Just like any other muscle, you can train your pelvic floor muscles to make them stronger and more resilient.
(In case you were wondering – no, getting fucked doesn’t affect your pelvic floor. However, a 2016 study found, that long-term bottoming can increase the likelihood of incontinence if you don’t keep your anal sphincter strong. Thankfully, the exercises below are also your roadmap to a stronger sphincter.)
How can you measure your pelvic floor strength?
Here’s how to get a feel for your pelvic floor muscles in action. When you go to the toilet stop pissing midstream, or try tightening the muscles that keep you from breaking wind. Doing these maneuvers requires you to engage your pelvic floor muscles, so you should get a feel for the body movements involved.
Once you’ve got the hang of this, stand in front of a mirror with no clothes on then pull in your pelvic floor muscles strongly and hold them. You should see your cock and balls lift slightly. If this is tricky for you, see below on how you can do pelvic floor exercises to improve muscle strength.
Male pelvic floor muscle – 3D animation | Continence Foundation of Australia
What are pelvic floor exercises for men (Kegels)?
Pelvic floor exercises (sometimes called Kegel exercises) are a simple way to help build strength and responsiveness in your pelvic floor muscles. They’re fairly straightforward, you can do them pretty much anywhere, and you’ll normally get some improvement in a matter of weeks.
How long does it take to strengthen pelvic floor muscles?
Most guys are likely to notice some improvement after 4 to 6 weeks of doing pelvic floor strengthening exercises, though in some cases it may take up to 3 months to see a difference.
How to do pelvic floor muscle training? Step by step instructions
- Sit, stand or lie comfortably.
- Find your pelvic floor muscles by contracting the muscles around your anus and urethra, as though you were trying to hold in your urine or stop yourself farting. This should feel like a squeezing sensation that causes your cock and balls to ‘lift’. Everything else should be relaxed – make sure you’re not tightening your buttocks, lower back, thighs or abdomen. Breathe normally. Let it go and relax.
- Once you’ve found the right muscles, squeeze again and try to hold for 5-10 seconds. If you can’t make the full 10 seconds, it’s better to do a fast, strong squeeze for a few seconds than a weaker squeeze for the full duration. Again, keep everything else relaxed and breathe normally.
- Let the squeeze go. It should feel like a distinct release. Rest for about 10 seconds.
- Repeat the squeeze/relax cycle 8-10 times. It should take you less than two minutes all up.
- Congratulations! You’ve completed one set of pelvic floor exercises.
- Try to do three sets every day.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises can benefit anyone, and they’re an excellent way to keep all your favourite pelvic activities humming along. Again, if you have any symptoms you’re not sure about, or if you get any pain doing these kegel exercises, talk to your doctor.