Pelvic floor exercises
A program of exercises to strengthen the muscles and tighten the ligaments at the base of the abdomen. These muscles and ligaments, which form the pelvic floor, support the uterus, vagina, bladder, urethra, and rectum. Stretching or slackening of the pelvic floor is common during childbirth and is also a part of the aging process.
Performing pelvic floor exercises, especially duiing pregnancy and following childbirth, tones these structures and may help to prevent prolapse of the uterus (see Uterus,
prolapse of) and urinary stress incontinence (see lncontinence, urinary). Pelvic floor exercises also can sometimes help women who are having difficulty achieving orgasm.
One exercise, carried out during urination, involves stopping and starting the flow of urine several times by contracting and then relaxing the muscles around the vagina, each time for a count of six. Another exercise involves placing two fingers inside the vagina and contracting the muscles around the fingers. The exercises should be done two or three times a day for at least a month.