About pelvic floor muscle exercises
Can I do my exercises in any position?
Yes, you can. It is useful to exercise your pelvic floor muscles in a variety of positions because you use them when you stand, walk, sit or lie down.
They are often easier to do when lying down or in a sitting position so it may be best to choose these positions until you are confident with the exercises.
Can I do the exercises as often as I like?
You can but if you do too many the muscles may get tired and may feel sore. If the muscles are tired when you do something strenuous, such as heavy lifting, they may not work so well. You may find that this makes your leakage worse for a while.
It is recommended that you do your exercises at least three times a day if you have symptoms and most women are advised to exercise at least once a day to help keep the muscles strong.
Can I break my exercise sessions? E.g. do my slow squeezes at a different time to the quick ones?
Yes, but it is best to complete each type of exercise (e.g. slow exercises, or quick exercises) in one go.
You could do all your slow squeezes, take that urgent phone call, and go back to do your quick squeezes. Squeezy will track this, and still count it as a complete session.
Can I take a break from my exercises for a while if I am going on holiday or I am just too busy?
You can – but it is better not to if at all possible as you may find that some of your symptoms, such as leaking urine when you cough, return after a while.
If you do take a break or forget your exercises for a while, start them again as soon as possible and this will help to strengthen the muscles again.
Can I set Squeezy to work in the background so that I can squeeze while I do something else?
We strongly recommend that you give your pelvic floor muscles your complete attention when you are doing the exercises.
It is important to do them correctly, and it is hard to do that if you are multi-tasking. Pelvic floor health is often neglected, and your exercises should only take a few minutes each day!
How hard should I squeeze my muscles?
When doing your slow and quick exercises you should try to squeeze and lift your pelvic floor muscles as strongly as possible.
It’s also really important to relax muscles completely between each squeeze.
Why do I find the speed of fast exercises too difficult?
The standard programme sets the speed of the fast squeezes at one squeeze per second. The professional mode allows you, or your clinician, to change the speed to make them slightly faster or slightly slower.
The standard speed may seem too difficult for you, and if it does then you can adjust it via “professional mode” and the speed slider.
One of the jobs that your pelvic floor needs to do is to respond automatically and rapidly when you apply a sudden, unexpected downward pressure on the bladder. This may happen when you run, cough, laugh or slip down a step.. and the fast squeezes are useful at retraining this.
What do I do if my pelvic floor muscles feel sore?
If you feel discomfort or soreness in your pelvic area it may be because you’re over-doing your exercises.
Try reducing the number of exercises you are doing for a few days and then gradually build up your programme.
I felt as though I was doing really well with my exercises to start with but it feels as if my improvement is slowing down now – why is this?
When you start to train your muscles they will improve quite quickly, especially if they were very weak. After a while the rate of improvement slows down and you have to work harder to continue improving. This is quite normal.
A Women’s Health Physiotherapist will be able to give you an accurate assessment of how strong your pelvic floor muscles are and what techniques you can use to train them further.
Should I do general exercise as well?
It is always better to be as fit and active as possible. Low impact exercise, such as Pilates or yoga, may be better to start with.
Ask your physiotherapist for further advice.
What do I do if I think I'm not squeezing my pelvic floor muscles the right way?
Find out where your nearest specialist women’s health or continence physiotherapist is based. You can ask a specialist physiotherapist to examine the muscles and check the way that you do your exercises.
What do I do if my symptoms are not improving?
Contact your physiotherapist if you have one. If you haven’t already seen a specialist physiotherapist it might be helpful to have an assessment (see next question).
It may also be helpful to discuss your problems with your GP.
Where can I find a specialist physiotherapist?
Your GP may be able to tell you where your local specialist physiotherapist is based. Some specialist physiotherapists working in the NHS and all those working independently can accept self-referrals so you may not need to see your GP first.
For further advice on how to find a specialist physiotherapist you can contact the Pelvic Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy Charity (POGP) or Chartered Physiotherapists Promoting Continence (see the ‘further information’ section). Alternatively you can search for a local private physiotherapist via PHYSIO2U at www.csp.org.uk.
Where can I find advice on antenatal and postnatal pelvic health (pregnancy)?
If you are using the Maternity version of the app, you may have completed the antenatal or postnatal questionnaires. The article containing advice on getting support, including links to some local services, can be found at the end of the assessment, or under questions & answers in the information section.
About the app
How do I skip straight to the end of the exercises if I want to stop half way through?
How can I write notes on my exercises?
Tap in the “notes” box on the recording page and use the pop-up keyboard. When you have finished, tap on the orange save button.
Can I decide how long the snooze function can be set for?
No – the snooze function is pre-set for an interval of 20 minutes. After three reminders without the exercise section being used, the reminder will switch off until the next scheduled exercise.
Why does the vibration button not work on my iPod touch?
Unfortunately, the iPod touch does not have a vibration function. The vibration button will remain on view though, so please just ignore it!
How do I switch on the sound? (Or the vibration mode if it is an iPhone)
Go to your phone’s Settings, find the Sounds section and set the ‘Vibrate on Ring’ and ‘Vibrate on Silent’ switches accordingly.
Why is the number of completed sessions less than the number of times I've done my exercises today?
For an exercise session to count against your daily target, you need to complete and save each of the types of exercise in your exercise plan.
For example, if your exercise plan includes 10 quick squeezes and 10 slow squeezes, but you only complete the quick squeezes, you will need to do the slow squeezes to complete a session.
You can see details of the types of exercise you’ve completed in the “Today’s progress” information screen, which is accessible via the pie-chart button. There is also a breakdown of full and partially completed sessions in the “exercise record“.