Find out about pelvic floor muscle exercises
Pelvic floor muscles act like a sling supporting your bladder and bowel and help to control when you pass urine or empty your bowels. The diagram below shows the position of the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles can be weakened following surgery for prostate cancer.
Doing pelvic floor muscle exercises regularly may help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor muscle exercises are also called PFME or Kegel exercises.
You are encouraged to practise PFME before surgery and after your catheter has been removed. Your nurse or urologist should have given you information on how to do them properly and you should follow their recommendation on how often to do them.
PFME may also help with erections.Erectile dysfunction (ED) is difficulty getting and maintaining an erection and may also follow prostatectomy. Find out more about erection problems.
Where to get help
Find out how to do PFME on the Prostate Cancer UK website.
Apps are available for your smart phone or watch to show you how to do PFME exercises and to remind you to do them.
If you are still unsure how to do PFME, your doctor or nurse can refer you to a specialist physiotherapist or continence nurse specialist.
Will PFME work for me?
4“You religiously do them all the time and nothing was happening, it wasn’t getting any better.”
There are some important things to know about PFME:
PFME may help in the early months after surgery. However, research 1 suggests that by 12 months after the operation, men achieve the same level of continence whether or not they have done PFME.
The surgical and medical factors that affect the pelvic floor after prostate surgery are complicated and PFME may not work for all men. Do not blame yourself if your bladder leakage does not improve as much as you expect.
If you continue to have bladder leakage, it does not definitely mean that you have done PFME incorrectly or not practised them enough.
If you still have bladder leakage 12 months after surgery, ask your urologist about further treatments for incontinence.
Read about the effect that your diet and lifestyle can have on your bladder: