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Go on … pick up that pea (blokes, too)!

You may have heard of the old-school method of picking up and holding an imaginary pea, but finding and exercising the pelvic floor muscles can be a little trickier than that.

Despite most women knowing what pelvic floor exercises were, a recent survey found fewer than two out of 10 did them daily.

“The Women’s Health Survey 2018, by the Jean Hailes organisation found that while 96.4 per cent of women knew what pelvic floor exercises were, less than 17.6 per cent did their exercises daily,” said Queensland’s Acting Chief Allied Health Officer Liza-Jane McBride.

“It’s likely that the number among men would be even lower, as many men would be unaware that it is equally important for them to do pelvic floor exercises.

“The pelvic floor muscles are very important functionally in controlling the bowel and bladder, and preventing prolapse, and just like any other muscles, they need regular exercise.

“The trick is to find, isolate and exercise the right muscles,” she said.

The pelvic floor is a 'sling' of muscles, a bit like a muscle hammock that runs between the pubic bone in the front, and the tailbone at the back.

The pelvic floor muscles help control the bladder and bowel, and are involved with sexual function.

Because of these very important functions, it's vital to keep pelvic floor muscles strong.

Pelvic Floor First ( says pelvic floor exercises can help:

  • improve bladder and bowel control
  • reduce the risk of prolapse
  • improve recovery from childbirth and gynaecological surgery (in women)
  • improve recovery after prostate surgery (in men)
  • increase sexual sensation and orgasmic potential
  • and increase social confidence and quality of life.

For detailed information on finding and exercising your pelvic floor muscles (for men and women):

Queensland Health has posted a light-hearted social media video to remind Queenslanders of the importance of regularly exercising the pelvic floor. See it here


Media contact:          3708 5376

Last updated: 20 November 2018