Where are my pelvic floor muscles?
Your pelvic floor muscles surround and support all the organs in your pelvis - your womb, bowels and bladder.
How to find your pelvic floor muscles
You can find out where the pelvic floor muscles are and how you control them next time you go to the toilet. As you wee, try to stop the flow briefly. The muscles you use to do this are your pelvic floor muscles.
Don’t do this more than once, though. It’s not good for your bladder to stop mid-wee and doing it regularly may lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Why pelvic floor exercises are important
During your pregnancy, your pelvic floor muscles will loosen due to hormonal changes in your body. This loosening, along with your growing baby pressing on your bladder, may cause you to leak urine when you cough, laugh, sneeze or exercise.
How do I exercise my pelvic floor muscles?
Once you’ve found your pelvic floor muscles, try stopping an imaginary wee rather than a real one. Once you can locate them like this, you can exercise them any time you like by tightening and lifting.
To tighten and lift your pelvic floor muscles, imagine doing the following at the same time:
- squeezing your bottom as if stopping a poo
- squeezing to stop the flow of wee
- squeezing as though you’re gripping a tampon in your vagina.
You can do pelvic floor exercises anywhere you like. Nobody will know what you’re doing - as long as you don’t raise your eyebrows each time you squeeze.
You can exercise on the bus, while you’re on the phone or waiting in the supermarket queue.
Practise at home
Practise these exercises in front of a mirror. Then you’ll know you can do them without making faces before you try them on a crowded bus or at work.