Archive for the ‘overactive bladder’ Category

Smoking Is Also Hazardous to Your Urologic Health.

November 26, 2016

It is given that smoking is deleterious to your lungs and heart causing lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease, just to name a few of the common medical conditions causes by smoking.  There are also urologic conditions that are affected by smoking.

Bladder cancer is 4th most common cancer in men with nearly 80,000 new cases each year in the united States.  Smoking causes harmful chemicals and drugs to collect in the urine.  These toxic chemical affect the lining of the bladder and increase your risk of bladder cancer.

Nearly 30 million American men have erectile dysfunction or impotence  This is usually due to a reduction of poor blood flow to the penis.  Smoking can harm blood vessels, when decrease the blood flow to the penis.  As a result, men will have difficulty obtaining and keeping an erection adequate for sexual intimacy.

Kidney cancer is in the top ten most common cancers in both men and women with nearly 60,000 new cases every year.  Smoking puts noxious chemicals from the lungs into the blood stream where it is filtered into the kidneys and can cause kidney cancer.

Kidney stones affect 1 million Americans and smoking is a known cause of having kidney stones and also for having recurrent kidney stones.

Painful bladder syndrome affects 12% of women.  The condition is irritated by smoking and produces more symptoms of pain and discomfort in the pelvis.

Overactive bladder (OAB) affects more than 30 million American men and women.  Smoking irritates the bladder and increase the frequency of urination.  Smoking also is associated with coughing that can increase urinary leakage.

Infertility caused by male factors affects 50% of all problems related to difficulty with achieving a pregnancy.  Smoking can harm the genetic make-up in eggs and sperm.  The infertility rate for smokers in nearly twice that for those men who do not smoke cigarettes.

Bottom Line:  Most people are looking for reasons to stop smoking.  There are so many medical conditions that are caused by or are made worse by smoking.  Talk to your doctor about some of the effective ways to achieve smoking cessation.

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Things To Avoid If You Have Urge Incontinence

May 10, 2015

Overactive bladder is common problem affecting millions of American men and women. The condition impacts a person’s quality of life and can make them miserable. This blood will discuss non-medical solutions that won’t cure the problem but will help control OAB.

Urge incontinence is one of the four main types of urinary incontinence.
It involves the loss of urine as a result of strong, uncontrollable urges to urinate. Certain foods, drinks and medications can worsen those urges and therefore increase the severity of your incontinence.
Consider reducing your intake of these 6 things if you suffer from urge incontinence:

1. Caffeine

A number of studies have shown caffeine to worsen urinary incontinence. Caffeine is a diuretic which means it can increase your need to urinate. For those who suffer from urge incontinence, caffeine may make the urges worse, Health24’s resident GP Dr Owen Wiese explains.
Try limiting your intake of caffeine by cutting down on coffee, certain teas, energy drinks and caffeinated fizzy drinks.

2. Spicy foods
Spicy foods are commonly known to irritate the stomach and bowel but they have been found to have a similar effect on the bladder, Dr Wiese explains. Try to avoid cooking with chilli and other spices for a while to test if your symptoms improve.

3. Certain medication

There are a number of different medications that can increase the frequency or urgency to urinate. These include:
Hypertension medication:
– Diuretics such as Hydrochlorothiazide (Ridaq) and Furosemide (Lasix)
– ACE inhibitors such as Enalapril maleate (Pharmapress; Renitec) and Captopril (CaptoHexal; Zapto)
– Alpha-antagonists including Doxazosin maleate (Cardura) Prazosin (Pratsiol)
Muscular pain medication:
– Muscle relaxants including Baclofen (Lioresal) and Orphenadrine (Norflex, Disipal)

4. Sweeteners Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that are commonly found in diet drinks and sugar-free foods can also cause incontinence. Like spicy foods, sweeteners are known to irritate the bladder. Try adding honey or agave syrup to your tea instead of sweeteners to prevent uncontrollable urges.

5. Alcohol

If you suffer from incontinence, alcohol intake is another lifestyle factor that could be aggravating your symptoms.
Like caffeine, alcohol is a diuretic and therefore increases your need to urinate. Also, being intoxicated can prevent you from realizing that you need to go to the bathroom or from getting to the bathroom in time.
Try to reduce the amount of alcohol you consume to better control your urges.

6. Citrus fruit

Citrus fruits cause the same problem as spicy foods and sweeteners. The acidity caused by the vitamin C in the fruit irritates the lining of the bladder which can increase the urge to urinate.
Try replacing citrus fruits with less acidic alternatives such as apples, watermelon and apricots.
While these different foods, beverages and medications can worsen urge incontinence, they can also have little affect on your incontinence at all. Some people are affected by alcohol and caffeine but not by citrus fruit or spicy foods.

Bottom Line: Urge incontinence is common problem but you can decrease the incontinent episodes by monitoring your foods and fluids. You don’t have to completely eliminate the culprits I’ve listed above you should decrease the consumption of these bladder irritants.

Foods and Fluids That Worsen Overactive Bladder

May 4, 2015

One of the most devastating problems affecting many men and women is the problem of overactive bladder. This is the bladder that has a mind of its own. When the bladder decides to empty its liquid contents and doesn’t wait for the owner’s permission, it is called overactive bladder.
There are some foods and beverages that you should avoid, since they could worsen your condition.

Water (too much or too little)
You might think that drinking less water will make you want to pee less often, but that theory backfires in reality. Drinking too little water causes your urine to become more concentrated, which can irritate your bladder. On the other hand, drinking too much water can be a problem as well. Try to find the right balance to meet your needs and avoid drinking a lot of water after 6 pm, so that you don’t keep waking up to go to the bathroom at night.

Caffeine
Coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks all contain caffeine, which is a diuretic that causes your body to produce more urine. Drinking less caffeine will give you better control over your bladder.

Chocolate
Chocolate is another source of caffeine that can worsen your bladder control. If you don’t want to give up chocolate, try to consume it earlier in the day, or switch over to white chocolate.

Spicy foods
Spicy foods also irritate your bladder, so try to dial down the amount of chilli you add to your meals and avoid spicy snacks and sauces.

Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruits and limes are all acidic. Acidic foods irritate your bladder and worsen urinary incontinence, so try to limit your intake of these fruits
Pineapples
Most people aren’t aware of this, but pineapples are actually acidic fruits as well. Limit your intake of pineapple and avoid drinking pineapple juice.

Tomatoes
Tomatoes also worsen urinary incontinence, since they are also acidic. They will be pretty hard to cut out of your diet, since tomato-based foods also have the same effect, so you would have to avoid sauces, gravies, ketchup, and other tomato-based items.

Onions
Onions can also irritate your bladder, so try to cut down your onion intake and avoid eating raw onions. You can even switch to a milder vegetable like shallots instead.

Cranberries
Cranberries are an effective remedy for urinary tract infections, however they are pretty acidic so they could reduce your control over your bladder.

Alcohol
All forms of alcohol dehydrate your body, but they do so by increasing the amount of urine, which means you need to visit the bathroom much more frequently. Alcohol also interferes with the signals that the brain sends to the bladder about when to release urine, so if you suffer from urge incontinence, where you sometimes lose control of your bladder, you should avoid alcohol as much as possible.

Sugar
Both sugar and artificial sweeteners affect the bladder. Try to cut sugar out of your diet for a few days and see whether it makes a difference to your bathroom habits.

Carbonated drinks
Avoid carbonated drinks like soft drinks, soda, sparkling water and fizzy juices. The fizz irritates your bladder, and makes you need to pee more often.

Sauces
Certain condiments like mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup and chili sauce can all worsen your condition, so consume them sparingly. Switch over to healthier chutneys and spices instead.

Processed foods
The artificial colors, flavors, additives and preservatives in processed foods could also be adding to the problem. Try to cut them out of your diet and eat more home-cooked meals instead.

Bottom Line: By modifying your diet you cannot cure overactive bladder but you certainly can use these techniques to help control the problem. It may not be necessary to eliminate completely all of these dietary irritants but if you can use them in moderation, your bladder will thank you!

Help For An Overactive Bladder (OAB)

May 4, 2015

Nothing is more distressing than losing urine and unable to reach a toilet in a timely fashion. It is a source of embarrassment, anxiety, and even depression.

Your bladder can start to present problems at menopause as sneezing, laughing, increased urgency and frequent night calls can disturb your sleep and your peace of mind.

This is particularly true at menopause when up to 40% of women are affected by OAB. Unfairly perhaps, but women do suffer urinary incontinence four to five times as often as men.
Some of that has to do with pregnancy and childbirth, which can weaken the vagina, the pelvic floor muscles, and the ligaments that support the bladder. This can cause the bladder to be pushed out of place, making it harder for the muscles to perform. That’s why you may leak a little urine when you sneeze, cough, or laugh.

Symptoms of OAB:
* increased urinary frequency
* a sudden urge to urinate
* the need to urinate during the night
* difficulty getting to the bathroom without leaking

Types of Incontinence
There are two separate types of incontinence:
Type 1: Stress incontinence leads to leakage of urine when the pressure in the abdomen is higher than the sphincter pressure. Normally, contraction of the pelvic floor muscles compresses the urethra [bladder outlet] and prevents loss of urine and stress incontinence. Loss can happen with sneezing, coughing and during exercise such as lifting, jumping and walking.
Type 2: Urge incontinence is when an uncontrollable need to pass urine occurs due to over activity of the bladder wall muscle. Typically this occurs as you put the key in the front door or when water is running. There is generally no weakness in the pelvic floor muscles or muscles controlling the bladder outlet. This is also known as overactive bladder syndrome.

Mixed incontinence occurs when there is muscle weakness and and uncontrollable urge to go to the toilet together.

The hormone factor
For women, the bladder and urethra have hormone receptors and it is estrogen that affects the health of the pelvic muscles and the urinary tract. It is estrogen that helps to preserve the strength and flexibility of supportive pelvic and bladder tissues so low levels may be part of the reason these supportive tissues sometimes weaken as a woman ages and may also contribute to muscular pressure around the urethra.
Estrogen can improve the flow of blood and strengthen the tissue around the urethra so women who are low in body weight at menopause may not be producing sufficient for this purpose. Often prescribed are low-dose topical estrogen creams or patches but according to the Mayo Clinic, scientific evidence to support this treatment is lacking.
Low estrogen generally indicates even lower progesterone levels so a combination cream of both hormones can be effective.

When to get help
Bladder weakness can affect many areas of your life from disturbed sleep, to your sex life and embarrassment in public over urinary accidents. This can make it hard to enjoy everyday activities and so many women don’t seek help but these signs indicate you have a problem:
• urinate more than eight times in a 24-hour period
• get up in the night to urinate
• experience frequent leaking
• have changed your activities to accommodate your symptoms

How to help yourself
There are many types of surgery for stress incontinence and although this can be helpful, as time goes by a number of women will get a return of their urine leakage between 5 to 10 years after surgery. It is better to try and manage the condition by first trying pelvic floor muscle exercises which are an inexpensive and effective method of treating mild stress incontinence.

Often referred to as Kegel exercises you could follow the plan below. First you need to be able to identify your pelvic floor muscles and learn how to contract and relax them. To do this, stop urination in midstream. If you succeed, you’ve got the right muscles. Then practice this as below:
* Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles, empty your bladder and lie on your back. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Try it four or five times in a row. Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions.
* Maintain your focus. For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Avoid holding your breath. Instead, breathe freely during the exercises.
* Repeat 3 times a day. Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.
More information:
Unfortunately at menopause women tend to put on weight, and being overweight can make bladder problems more common. Sleep at menopause is also often disturbed for this reason and for this progesterone does help aid sleep and rebalance hormones to help with any weight loss.
However for women who do need additional estrogen as well as progesterone and are not overweight a combination cream is usually more effective for the bladder.

Bottom Line: Incontinence and OAB are common maladies affecting millions of American women. You don’t have to depend on Depends! Help is available. Speak to your doctor.

Urinary Incontinence-Don’t Suffer In Silence

December 20, 2014

Urinary incontinence is one of life’s most embarrassing problems. Millions of American women suffer from incontinence in silence. I see dozens of women every month with this problem and so many of them have been wearing pads and diapers for years because they were too embarrassed to bring up the problem with their physician. This blog will discuss the problem and why it is important to see a physician to get treatment.

There are millions of people who deal with the embarrassing and disruptive effects of urinary incontinence, yet it’s a health secret that is rarely discussed. Contrary to what a lot of people think, urinary incontinence is not a normal sign of aging. Yes, it is more common in older men and women but you don’t have to live with the problem as treatments are available.

There are several reasons for urinary incontinence, but for women, one of the most common is weakened muscles in the pelvic floor.
A woman’s body goes through many changes during a lifetime and weakness or injury to muscles in the pelvic floor can cause health issues for women of all ages. The group of muscles in the pelvic floor can be affected by aging, childbirth, posture or injury. This loss of support of the pelvic muscles can result in incontinence, pelvic pain, or pain with intercourse.

Weakened pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened with Kegel exercises. (see my website, http://www.neilbaum.com, for more information on Kegel exercises). For the problem of urgency and frequency and urge incontinence or overactive bladder, there are effective medications to treat this condition. Finally, for women with both kinds of incontinence due to weakened pelvic muscles, they can be treated successfully with physical therapy.

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should speak to your physician as help is available:
Do you usually get a strong urge to urinate?
Do you always make it to the bathroom on time?
Do you leak urine when you sneeze or cough?
Do you leak urine during physical activity?
Do you get up more than once per night to urinate?
Do you feel heaviness in the pelvic area?

Bottom Line: If you’ve been keeping urinary incontinence a secret, you’re not alone. You don’t have to accept it. Help is available. Talk to your doctor.

Urinary Incontinence- You Are Not Alone and You Don’t Have To Suffer In Silence

October 22, 2014

I am writing this blog to let you know that incontinence is common in middle aged and older women. One in four women struggle at least occasionally with incontinence. One in five people over 40 deal with an overactive bladder or inability to control the urge and reach the toilet in a timely fashion. One in three women over 80 are incontinent.

Unfortunately many doctors don’t raise the issue with patients during visits, and many patients are uncomfortable of bringing up the subject with their healthcare provider.

The critical valves in a woman’s pelvis seem to become a problem as we age. As women age they get leaky valves in the colon, heart, and the lower urinary tract. The quality of the supporting tissues and structures fail as women get older. It fails as women have other types of treatments. Neurologically, things can fail. In this country, one of the problems we have is morbid obesity and that certainly increases the risk of urinary incontinence, leakage.

For most women with urinary incontinence there are almost always conservative options that don’t involve surgery.

Often very simple lifestyle changes can help patients tremendously, without any invasive therapy, without any medication, without any surgeries.

It begins with the diet. There are certain foods that are irritative to the lower urinary tract. The most common culprits are alcohol, caffeine, spicy food, acidic food.

Next are exercises: Doing pelvic floor exercises, Kegel exercises, for both men and women, can be helpful.

Are there medical and surgical options and when do those come into play?  Yes, there are medications for treating overactive bladder.

Surgical options are something that are considred after they’ve failed conservative therapies.

The most important thing in this population is improving quality of life, and in order to get at that, your doctor needs to look at the entire person. Patients need to understand that they need to get involved in long-term exercise routines and dietary modification will be helpful.

Most of incontinence is not life-threatening, but if people leak and they can’t see, and they’re up in the middle of the night and they fall, the mortality rates are high.

Bottom Line:  Urinary incontinence is a common condition that impacts the quality of life of millions of American women.  Help is available and often conservative treatments will control the problem.  For more information consult with your gynecologist or your urologist.

Urinary Incontinence-Common Problem With Good Solutions

October 22, 2014

Millions of American women suffer from loss of urine or urinary incontinence. The problem is a source of embarrassment and lead to social isolation and even depression. This blog will discuss the three types of incontinence and offer some suggestions for solving the problem.

Some women with incontinence have only occasional leakage such as when they have a respiratory tract infection and have a severe coughing spell, while others may have a great deal of leakage on a daily basis. This can result in various limitations on activities, and can seriously impact quality of life. Bladder control issues are not a normal part of aging and they are not something you should have to live with.

Urologists and gynecologists are physicians with training in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions that include urinary incontinence.

There are three common categories of urinary incontinence.

  1. Stress incontinence is loss of urine that occurs with activities that increase abdominal pressure (such as sneezing, coughing, laughing, and exercising). This rise in pressure within the abdomen is transmitted to the pelvic organs including the bladder which can result in urine leaking through the urethra, the tube from the bladder to the outside of the body. This is usually due to weakness of the muscle that controls urination and support structures, often related to hormone (estrogen) deficiency which is common after menopause and prior vaginal delivery.
  1. Urge incontinence, which is also often referred to as overactive bladder, describes loss of urine with a sense of urgency or inability to hold urine long enough to reach a bathroom. This is usually due to over-activity of the bladder. Often women with urge incontinence report leaking with specific triggers such as running water or putting a key in the lock. Other associated symptoms often include frequent daytime and nighttime voids.
  1. Mixed incontinence is the common situation when women have components of both stress and urge incontinence.

Risk factors for the development of urinary incontinence include pregnancy, vaginal delivery, pelvic surgery, and pelvic radiation. Other potential risk factors include obesity, smoking, caffeine intake, chronic constipation leading to excessive straining, repetitive heavy lifting and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Certain basic interventions can reduce the risk of developing incontinence or even the severity of leakage.

For instance, maintaining a normal weight, or losing weight if overweight, can be extremely helpful. In fact, studies show that as little as a 10 percent loss in body weight can improve leakage symptoms by up to 50 percent. In addition, avoiding chronic straining which occurs with chronic constipation can prevent injury to the muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor. A diet with plenty of fiber and fluids, as well as good lifting technique, is key.

Next, if you are a smoker, strongly consider kicking the smoking habit. Besides improving your bladder health, there are countless other benefits to your overall well-being if you can quit. Also, avoid significant caffeine intake as it may be a major bladder irritant in some women.

Finally, make sure to keep your pelvic floor muscles nice and strong — this requires learning how to do Kegel exercises. (For more information on Kegel exercises, please go to my website, http://www.neilbaum.com)

Unfortunately, sometimes these basic interventions are not as successful as we would like. Luckily, a significant percentage of women who seek help for urinary incontinence will experience significant improvement in their leakage.

For this reason, women with bothersome leakage should always feel comfortable raising this issue with their physicians. A wide range of treatment options exist, ranging from physical therapy to surgery, and are being used every day to help women with leakage improve their quality of life. If your leakage is bothersome, get evaluated and learn about your treatment options.

Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more confident you will be in directing your treatment.

Bottom Line: You don’t have to suffer the consequences of urinary incontinence. Help is available; you don’t have to depend on Depends!

Losing Your Urine? It May Be Due to Your Medications

September 4, 2014

Urinary incontinence impacts millions of American men and women. Often times the solution may be to have your doctor check your medications and see if the medications may be the culprit.
There are four groups of medications doctors commonly recommend that can cause or increase incontinence. If you are taking any of these, you should let your doctor know about your incontinence and discuss your medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) to see if there is another approach to control or eliminate the problem.
The most common incontinence problems arise from medications in the following four categories:

1. Diuretics to reduce excess fluid
Diuretics, also known as “water pills,” stimulate the kidneys to expel unneeded water and salt from your tissues and bloodstream into the urine. Getting rid of excess fluid makes it easier for your heart to pump. There are a number of diuretic drugs, but one of the most common is furosemide (Lasix®).
Approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population suffers from overactive bladder symptoms which consists of urgency of urination and loss of urine when the man or woman cannot reach the toilet in a timely fashion.
Many of those patients also have high blood pressure or vascular conditions, such as swelling of the feet or ankles. These conditions are often treated with diuretic therapies that make their bladder condition worse in terms of urgency and frequency.
A first step is to make sure you are following your doctor’s prescription instructions exactly. As an alternative to water pills you might try restricting salt in your diet and exercising for weight loss. Both of these can reduce salt retention and hypertension naturally. Also, if you take diuretics, use them in the morning so you have frequency during the day and not at night after you go to sleep.

2. Alpha blockers for hypertension
Another class of drugs used to reduce high blood pressure or hypertension by dilating your blood vessels can also cause problems. These medicines are known as alpha blockers. Some of the most common are Cardura®, Minipress® and Hytrin®.
Men typically take these to treat an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) which can restrict urination by putting pressure on the urethra. By relaxing the muscles in the bladder neck, alpha blockers allow smoother urine flow for those patients but may result in incontinence.

3. Antidepressants and narcotic pain relievers
Some antidepressants and pain medications can prevent the bladder from contracting completely so that it does not empty. That gives rise to urgency or frequency or voiding dysfunction. They can also decrease your awareness of the need to void.
Some of these drugs can also cause constipation. Constipation, in turn, can cause indirect bladder incontinence because being constipated takes up more room in the pelvis that the bladder needs to expand. Also, a full rectum can press on the bladder and result in stimulation of the bladder to contract and result in urgency and frequency as well as incontinence.

4. Sedatives and sleeping pills
Using sedatives and sleeping pills can present a problem, especially if you already have incontinence. They can decrease your awareness of the need to void while you are sleeping.
The best way to address this situation is to take other steps to relax and improve your sleep. Getting more exercise earlier in the day to make you tired, for example, can help. It’s also important to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule. Try to find other ways to relax before bed — meditation, reading a book or listening to soothing music or sound effects (e.g., rain or waves) — can also help you sleep better.

Bottom line: the side effects of medication can result in urinary incontinence. If you think this is a problem, check with your physician.

Kegel Exercises For Men- Non-Medical Treatment of Overactive Bladder

July 31, 2014

For decades, women have been doing Kegel exercises (named after the gynecologist who invited the exercises) to help control urinary incontinence. Now we know that regular, daily exercising of pelvic muscles can improve, and even prevent, urinary incontinence even in men.

Kegel or pelvic muscle exercises are discrete exercises that work the perineal or pubococcygeus muscles. In the past, Kegel exercises have been largely promoted by physicians to their female patients in an effort to aid with stress incontinence following childbirth. However, these same exercises are now being promoted to men in an effort to improve urinary incontinence, fecal continence, and even sexual health such as the treatment for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Unlike typical exercise routines, these exercises don’t require the participant to buy any weights or expensive machines. You don’t need a trainer, a gym membership, or any special equipment.

Kegel exercises primarily aid men with urinary incontinence. Besides preventing embarrassing urine leakage, they also decrease the urge to void. Secondly, they have been shown to help male sexual health by allowing some men’s erections to last longer when affected by sexual dysfunction and premature ejaculation. These benefits all equate to a better quality of life.
These exercises are often recommended to patients with weakened pelvic floor muscles such as patients with diabetes, patients having had a prostate surgery in the past such as a radical prostatectomy, or obese patients. It should also be mentioned that these exercises have not been scientifically proven to increase penis size and are thus not recommended solely for this purpose.

How can men perform Kegel exercises?
Prior to beginning the exercises, it is important to correctly localize the pubococcygeus muscles. To achieve this, one can simply attempt to stop his urine flow midway through. The muscles allowing for the pause in urination are the ones targeted by the Kegel exercises.
There are many different techniques that can be used to efficiently strengthen one’s pelvic floor muscles. Women often use Kegel balls or Kegel weights to perform the exercises, but those are unnecessary for men.

The first technique requires a contraction of the anus muscles as if trying to hold in gas. The feeling of a pulling or lifting sensation on the anus tells you that you are performing the exercise correctly.

The second exercise is used to observe the movement of your penis vertically without moving the rest of your body. An elevator analogy can be used to illustrate the exercise. The anus, in this case, can represent an elevator. The goal of the exercise is to bring up the elevator over 5 seconds to its maximal level and then to bring it gradually back down to the resting level.
The techniques are interchangeable. Men can perform a different technique each day. However, the important thing is to always use only the pelvic muscles. When men first start performing these exercises, they may use other muscles to help them. Often, they may use their abdominal or gluteal maximus (buttocks) muscles. It is thus important to become aware of which muscles are being contracted. It is also important to avoid holding the breath or crossing the legs.

Arguably, one of the strongest points of Kegel exercises is that they can be performed anywhere without anyone but the participant noticing. Unlike typical core exercises for men requiring sit-ups, planking, or other unusual positions, Kegel exercises can be performed during a variety of activities such as shaving, sitting at one’s desk, or even while driving. This feature allows them to be universally accepted by men.

Men are accustomed to exercises such as push-ups or sit-ups. However, a very small proportion of them know how to efficiently perform Kegel exercises. This is unfortunate since many doctors recommend incorporating these into one’s core routine.

Unlike typical workouts for men, when it comes down to Kegel exercises, there is no magic number of sets one should do in a day. It is recommended, however, for men to perform at least two sessions of Kegel exercises every day. To keep things simple, men should perform their first session in the morning and their second at night. A session comprises of 10 to 30 individual contractions and relaxations exercises. Each exercise should last 10 seconds divided into 5 seconds of contraction and 5 seconds of relaxation. Once a man excels at performing these, he can do them in different positions. Of the 10 to 30 exercises, he can do one-third while laying down, one-third while sitting, and one-third while standing. Counting out loud certainly helps and as time goes by many men are surprised at the ease with which they can perform the exercises that at first seemed unnatural to them.

This is of greatest importance for men undergoing prostate surgery, either for prostate cancer needing radical prostatectomy (complete prostate removal) or for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) needing transurethral resection of the prostate. Both of such surgeries reduce the resistance to the bladder, which can result in postsurgical urinary incontinence. As we can see from the following image, the anatomic changes reduce bladder outlet resistance. As such, strengthening the pelvic floor and sphincter are of paramount importance and Kegel exercises can help.

Kegel Exercises For Men- Non Medical Treatment of Overactive Bladder

July 24, 2014

For decades, women have been doing Kegel (named after the gynecologist who invited the exercises) to help control urinary incontinence. Now we know that regular, daily exercising of pelvic muscles can improve, and even prevent, urinary incontinence even in men.

Kegel or pelvic muscle exercises are discrete exercises that work the perineal or pubococcygeus muscles. In the past, they have been largely promoted by physicians to their female patients in an effort to aid with stress incontinence following childbirth. However, these same exercises are now being promoted to men in an effort to improve urinary incontinence, fecal continence, and even sexual health such as the treatment for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Unlike typical exercise routines, these exercises don’t require the participant to buy any weights or expensive machines. You don’t need a trainer, a gym membership, or any special equipment.

Kegel exercises primarily aid men with urinary incontinence. Besides preventing embarrassing urine leakage, they also decrease the urge to void. Secondly, they have been shown to help male sexual health by allowing some men’s erections to last longer when affected by sexual dysfunction and premature ejaculation. These benefits all equate to a better quality of life.
These exercises are often recommended to patients with weakened pelvic floor muscles such as patients with diabetes, patients having had a prostate surgery in the past such as a radical prostatectomy, or obese patients. It should also be mentioned that these exercises have not been scientifically proven to increase penis size and are thus not recommended solely for this purpose.
Kegel exercises are harmless if performed correctly. Chest and abdominal pain have been reported in some, but these occurrences are the result of inappropriately performed exercises.

How can men perform Kegel exercises?
Prior to beginning the exercises, it is important to correctly localize the pubococcygeus muscles. To achieve this, one can simply attempt to stop his urine flow midway through. The muscles allowing for the pause in urination are the ones targeted by the Kegel exercises.
There are many different techniques that can be used to efficiently strengthen one’s pelvic floor muscles. Women often use Kegel balls or Kegel weights to perform the exercises, but those are unnecessary for men.

The first technique requires a contraction of the anus muscles as if trying to hold in gas. The feeling of a pulling or lifting sensation on the anus tells you that you are performing the exercise correctly.

The second exercise is used to observe the movement of your penis vertically without moving the rest of your body. An elevator analogy can be used to illustrate the exercise. The anus, in this case, can represent an elevator. The goal of the exercise is to bring up the elevator over 5 seconds to its maximal level and then to bring it gradually back down to the resting level.
The techniques are interchangeable. Men can perform a different technique each day. However, the important thing is to always use only the pelvic muscles. When men first start performing these exercises, they may use other muscles to help them. Often, they may use their abdominal or gluteal maximus (buttocks) muscles. It is thus important to become aware of which muscles are being contracted. It is also important to avoid holding the breath or crossing the legs.

Arguably, one of the strongest points of Kegel exercises is that they can be performed anywhere without anyone but the participant noticing. Unlike typical core exercises for men requiring sit-ups, planking, or other unusual positions, Kegel exercises can be performed during a variety of activities such as shaving, sitting at one’s desk, or even while driving. This feature allows them to be universally accepted by men.

Men are accustomed to exercises such as push-ups or sit-ups. However, a very small proportion of them know how to efficiently perform Kegel exercises. This is unfortunate since many doctors recommend incorporating these into one’s core routine.
Unlike typical workouts for men, when it comes down to Kegel exercises, there is no magic number of sets one should do in a day. It is recommended, however, for men to perform at least two sessions of Kegel exercises every day. To keep things simple, men should perform their first session in the morning and their second at night. A session comprises of 10 to 30 individual contractions and relaxations exercises. Each exercise should last 10 seconds divided into 5 seconds of contraction and 5 seconds of relaxation. Once a man excels at performing these, he can do them in different positions. Of the 10 to 30 exercises, he can do one-third while laying down, one-third while sitting, and one-third while standing. Counting out loud certainly helps and as time goes by many men are surprised at the ease with which they can perform the exercises that at first seemed unnatural to them.

This is of greatest importance for men undergoing prostate surgery, either for prostate cancer needing radical prostatectomy (complete prostate removal) or for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) needing transurethral resection of the prostate. Both of such surgeries reduce the resistance to the bladder which can result in postsurgical urinary incontinence. As we can see from the following image, the anatomic changes reduce bladder outlet resistance. As such, strengthening the pelvic floor and sphincter are of paramount importance and Kegel exercises can help.

Bottom Line: Kegel exercises are not just for women with incontinence. They work for men, too. Results aren’t immediate so stick with it and you will be amazed at the results.