The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and the bowel (Fig. 1a and 1b). They can weaken with age, illness, or hormonal changes. Weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to urine leakage. Pregnancy and childbirth can weaken the pelvic floor muscles in women. Prostate surgery, and particularly removal of the prostate (radical prostatectomy), can weaken the pelvic floor muscles in men.
A structured programme of exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles can improve urinary incontinence. Always consult your health care professional before trying these exercises.