Everyone needs to do pelvic floor exercises — men as well as women — to protect against incontinence. Picture: Pixabay

Everyone needs to do pelvic floor exercises — men as well as women — to protect against incontinence.

However, these moves, designed to keep the network of muscles that support the bladder, bowel (and womb) functioning properly, can be tricky to master.

Katie Mann, an NHS specialist pelvic floor physiotherapist and chair of the Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy professional network, suggests the following.

‘First, contract your pelvic floor — you want to contract the back passage as if stopping wind, and at the same time squeezing up at the front almost as if trying to stop the flow of urine,’ she says. ‘Men should see a dip at the base of the penis and feel the scrotum lift slightly.

‘It’s more difficult for women, as they go by feeling alone. Women can think pelvic floor exercises are supposed to feel like a gripping action, but it’s more subtle than that. Placing a thumb inside the vagina and pressing to one side as you contract can help you know if it’s working,’ she adds. ‘If you can’t feel anything happening, or have leakage, see a specialist physiotherapist.’

But don’t try to actually stop your urine mid-flow to test your pelvic floor — that’s an old wives’ tale.

Daily Mail