Pelvic Floor Exercises
This series of brochures has been developed and funded as part
of the Australian Government’s National Continence
Management Strategy (NCMS).
All artwork created by Georgina Altona and Warwick Keen.
You are not alone. Incontinence can be
prevented, better managed, treated and
While doing the exercises:
1. DO NOT hold your breath.
2. DO NOT push down instead of squeezing
and lifting up.
3. TRY NOT to tighten your tummy, bottom or
Do your exercises well
The quality of your exercises is important.
Fewer good exercises are better than lots of
half hearted ones.
Making the exercises part of
your daily routine
Once you have learnt how to do these
exercises they should be done regularly,
giving each set your full attention. It might be
helpful to set aside at least 5 regular times
during the day for doing the exercises. For
example, after going to the toilet, when
having a drink or when lying in bed.
Other things you can do to help
your pelvic floor muscles
• share the lifting of heavy loads;
• avoid constipation and prevent any
straining during a bowel movement;
• ask for medical advice for hay-fever,
asthma and bronchitis to reduce sneezing
and coughing; and
• keep your weight within the right range for
your height and age. If you are not sure
what this should be, talk to a health worker.
Ask for help
Good results take time. In order to build up your
pelvic floor muscles to their maximum strength
you will need to work hard at these exercises.
For the best results ask for help from a health
worker, physiotherapist or continence adviser
who will design a personal exercise program
especially suited to your muscles.
If you are always feeling thirsty and
having to urinate (pass water or wee) all
the time, tell the doctor or the health
worker. It is important that you are
checked to make sure diabetes (sugar
sickness) is not the problem.
Who can help?
• Your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait