Pelvic Kegel Exercises
The purpose of Kegel exercises is to strengthen the anal sphincter muscles. The sphincter
muscles help you control your bowel movements.
To help you find your anal sphincter muscles, imagine that you are trying to stop the passage of
gas. Squeezing these muscles gives a pulling sensation; these are the correct muscles for pelvic
1. Tighten and squeeze your sphincter muscles as if you are trying to stop a bowel
2. While squeezing your muscles, hold them tightly for 10 seconds.
3. Then relax for 10 seconds.
Repeat the steps above 6-10 times per day. You can complete these exercises at any time during
the day. You can do them while you are sitting, standing, or lying down. For example, you can
do your exercises while driving, while at work, or even while watching television.
When you do you Kegel exercises, remember:
ξ Do not hold your breath.
ξ Do not push down. Squeeze your muscles together tightly and imagine that you are
trying to lift the muscle up.
ξ Do not tighten the muscles in your stomach, buttocks, or legs.
ξ Relax between each squeeze.
Starting exercises before surgery is helpful. Immediately after surgery your tissues and muscles
need time to heal. When the healing has started, you can resume these exercises. Typically
these exercises can be started again three weeks after your surgery.
At your clinic visit after surgery, your doctor will tell you if you should continue these exercises.
If you have any questions please let us know or call our clinic during business hours.
Digestive Health Center: (608) 890-5000 Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
After hours, weekends or holidays this number will be answered by the paging operator.
Ask for the doctor on call for Dr. ________________. Leave your name and phone number with
area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call (855) 342-9900.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 7/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7809