Kegel Exercises for Men

  • Medical Author:
    Kevin C. Zorn, MD, FRCSC, FACS

    Dr. Kevin Zorn is a dual-board-certified (US and Canada), minimally-invasive uro-oncology, fellowship trained urologist at the University of Chicago. His main focus of clinical and scientific interest is in the surgical treatment of renal and prostate cancer. He is also an expert in performing surgery with the DaVinci Surgical Robotic System to manage localized prostate cancer and small renal masses. Dr. Zorn studied medicine and urology at McGill University in Montréal.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

View Urinary Incontinence in Women Slideshow Pictures

How often should men perform Kegel exercises?

Men are accustomed to exercises such as push-ups or sit-ups. However, a very small proportion of them know how to efficiently perform Kegel exercises. This is unfortunate since many doctors recommend incorporating these into one's core routine.

Unlike typical workouts for men, when it comes down to Kegel exercises, there is no magic number of sets one should do in a day. It is recommended, however, for men to perform at least two sessions of Kegel exercises every day. To keep things simple, men should perform their first session in the morning and their second at night. A session comprises of 10-30 individual contractions and relaxation exercises. Each exercise should last 10 seconds divided into five seconds of contraction and five seconds of relaxation. Once a man excels at performing these, he can do them in different positions. Of the 10-30 exercises, he can do one-third while laying down, one-third while sitting, and one-third while standing. Counting out loud certainly helps, and as time goes by, many men are surprised at the ease with which they can perform the exercises that at first seemed unnatural to them.

This is of greatest importance for men undergoing prostate surgery, either for prostate cancer needing radical prostatectomy (complete prostate removal) or for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) needing transurethral resection of the prostate. Both of such surgeries reduce the resistance to the bladder which can result in postsurgical urinary incontinence. As we can see from the following image, the anatomic changes reduce bladder outlet resistance. As such, strengthening the pelvic floor and sphincter are of paramount importance and Kegel exercises can help.

Picture of a radical prostatectomy
Picture of a radical prostatectomy

Image courtesy of Kevin C. Zorn, MD, FRCSC, FACS

Pelvic Floor Training Prior to Surgery
Pelvic Floor Training Prior to Surgery
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/11/2015

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