Do Kegels Help With Urinary Incontinence? Kegels, the Pelvic Floor, and Their Relationship to Bladder Control

Jessica Lubahn 9 min read

Do Kegels Help With Urinary Incontinence? Kegels, the Pelvic Floor, and Their Relationship to Bladder Control

Incontinence. It feels like such a bad word. And let’s be real, none of us want to admit to our incontinence. The result? It often goes untreated.

But, if you’re tired of keeping your dirty little secret to yourself, you are in the right place. Not only can we help you overcome incontinence, but we can help you do it with dignity.

Read on to learn more about the power of Kegels for incontinence and how this one simple exercise might just be the key to overcoming that embarrassing leakage.

Table of Contents


do kegels help with urinary incontinence

Do Kegels Help Bladder Incontinence?

Kegels can help with certain types of urinary incontinence, such as:

  • Stress incontinence - urine leakage when pressure is put on the bladder from physical movements, such as jogging, jumping, sneezing, etc. 
  • Urge incontinence - urine leakage following a sudden and intense urge to urinate. Urination occurs often throughout the day and night.

However, Kegel exercises for urine control cannot help with:

  • Overflow incontinence - leaking small amounts of urine due to a full bladder.
  • Severe stress incontinence - severe urinary leakage when pressure is put on the bladder from physical movements, such as running, coughing, sneezing, etc.

Stress Incontinence

Women are more likely to suffer from stress incontinence, but men can be affected as well. Common causes include:

But, it can also be caused by prostate surgery in men. Treatment for stress incontinence is available, and simple Kegel exercises can help reduce the leakage caused by the condition.

How Kegels Can Help With Stress Incontinence

Kegel exercises are simple and can be performed by both men and women, regardless of age or the cause of the incontinence. 

The exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which supports the bladder, resulting in less leakage when:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Doing heavy lifting; or
  • Having sex

Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence occurs when you cannot make it to the toilet on time following a sudden need to urinate. 

Urge incontinence is commonly caused by minor infections, but can also be caused by more serious conditions or neurological disorders, such as: 

  • Diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Alzheimer’s; and
  • Stroke 

How Kegels Can Help With Urge Incontinence

Since the condition is a result of abnormal bladder contractions, Kegels for urge incontinence can strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, including the sphincters. 

With urge incontinence, the overactive bladder muscles contract with so much force, it overrides the sphincter muscles of the urethra. The urethra is responsible for taking urine out of the body.

Kegel exercises can condition the sphincter muscles to hold the urine in when the urge to pee occurs.


do kegels help with incontinence

Do Kegels Help With Incontinence in Both Men and Women?

While Kegel exercises are typically associated with women’s health, both men and women can benefit from doing Kegels for incontinence. 

In addition to improving bladder control in men, Kegel exercises can also: 

  • Strengthen erections
  • Aid in the treatment of prostatitis: and even 
  • Help with premature ejaculation

For women, urinary incontinence is a prevalent condition that can be treated by doing Kegel exercises. However, Kegels can also help with accidental flatulence and may even improve female orgasm. 

Women should also do Kegel exercises regularly to prevent pelvic organ prolapse, a condition where the bowel sags down into the vagina.

If you’re suffering from urinary incontinence, you don’t have to stop enjoying the things you love until the issue is solved. As you get started with your Kegel exercises, you can stay dry and leak-free with ONDR’s leak-proof underwear, designed for men and women.

Our underwear is: 

  • Thin
  • Stylish; and 
  • Super-absorbent

Make embarrassing leaks a thing of the past with leak-proof underwear that fit nicely under any clothing.

ONDRwear was created by a trusted urologist who understands that:

  • Restoring normal bladder function doesn’t happen overnight; and
  • You shouldn’t have to wait to get back to living your best life.


do kegels help bladder incontinence

How Effective Are Kegels for Incontinence?

Kegel exercises have proven to be very effective in treating stress and urge incontinence. However, like any exercise, results vary from person to person and depend heavily on whether the exercise is performed correctly and how committed that person is to achieving results.

How to Do Kegels for Incontinence

The technique is just as important as frequency and consistency. If you’re not doing the exercise correctly, you likely won’t experience the results you want, or it may take much longer to achieve those results. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Start by identifying your Kegel muscles. You can do this by stopping urination midstream. Feel that tightening? Those are your Kegel muscles, and that’s the same sensation you should experience when strengthening those muscles.
  2. Try to tighten those muscles when you are not urinating. To perfect your technique, you can imagine using those same muscles to pick up something small, like a grape, and lift it off the floor. 
  3. Be sure not to tense the muscles in your legs, abdomen, or buttocks when tightening your Kegel muscles. Breathe freely and don’t hold your breath.

Doing your Kegel exercises correctly is the key to successfully slowing or stopping urinary incontinence. 

Women: How to Know if You’re Doing Kegels Properly

To test if you’re doing your Kegels properly, you can insert a clean finger into the vagina and squeeze the muscles. If you feel a contraction that lifts your finger slightly, then you’ve targeted your muscles.

Again, it’s important to make sure you’re not also squeezing the adjacent muscles, and focusing only on the Kegel muscles.

Men: How to Know if You’re Doing Kegels Properly

Men will know if Kegel exercises are being done correctly if the penis lifts upon squeezing the muscles. No other muscles in the area should tense or tighten, just the Kegels.

Try to imagine you are lifting a piece of paper with your penis as you contract the muscles.

How Often Should You Do Kegels for Incontinence?

For optimal results, Kegel exercises should be performed three times daily. 

Start by doing the exercises while lying down to reduce pressure on the area. Contract the muscles for 3 seconds at a time for 10 to 15 repetitions. As the muscle strength improves, try repeating this cycle while sitting or standing and for longer durations.

Consistency is the quickest way to get results. As your muscles get stronger, you’ll notice that you can do your Kegel exercises anywhere with ease. 

Don’t stop doing your Kegels once your condition improves. Continued strengthening can help prevent future issues with incontinence. 

Even after doing your Kegels for weeks, or months, you may still experience urinary leakage here and there. ONDRwear was designed specifically for this purpose — to stop unwanted leaks from urinary incontinence.

Our leak-proof and super-absorbent underwear come in styles for men and women and provide maximum comfort and protection.


do kegels help bladder incontinence

How Long Will it Take to See Results?

Results can be seen in as little as 3 to 6 weeks when Kegel exercises are performed: 

  • Correctly
  • Consistently; and 
  • At a frequency of three times per day
What Should You Do if You’re Not Getting Results?

Don’t be embarrassed if Kegel exercises are not giving you the results you hope for. 

Asking your doctor or health care provider for help is an important next step, as they can help with other options, such as:

  • Vaginal weighted cones - when inserted into the vagina, your muscles are forced to hold it in place as you go about your daily activities. This can help target and train the correct muscles to help with urinary incontinence.
  • Biofeedback - your doctor will insert a pressure sensor into your rectum or vagina and monitor your pelvic floor activity as you contract and relax the Kegel muscles.

Remember, urinary incontinence is nothing to be ashamed of. Nearly 25 million Americans suffer from incontinence, approximately 80% of those being women. You are not alone.


kegels for incontinence

For Extra Protection Against Bladder Incontinence – Try ONDRwear

Taking precautions to avoid unwanted and embarrassing leaks may help in the overall success of treating urinary incontinence.

Sustainable and eco-friendly, ONDRwear is different from single-use products such as adult diapers or pads.

With a liner made from algae and beach wood fiber, our underwear is naturally odor-free and won’t irritate the most sensitive areas — unlike synthetic fibers used in other brands. 

Dr. Jessica Lubahn, the founder of ONDR, is a urologist who understands the negative impact invasive treatments for incontinence can have. She also understands the frustration and embarrassment patients may feel about accidental leakage. This is why she created a sustainable solution; ONDRwear leak-proof underwear.

What Is the ONDRwear Difference?

How is ONDRwear different from other leading brands? Dr. Lubahn created ONDRwear with the express purpose of helping her own patients overcome the hassle and embarrassment of urinary incontinence.

With the knowledge that incontinence is widespread, yet still considered taboo, Dr. Lubahn set about on a mission to change public perception and normalize treatment and care of urinary incontinence. 

ONDRwear provides patients with:

  • Soft and breathable material
  • Anti-microbial and eco-friendly liners
  • Hydrophilic one-way absorption
  • 25% more absorption than other leading brands

And, ONDRwear moves with your body and won’t show through your clothing, which means you can wear it anywhere — even the gym!

For more information, or to place your order, click here.


do kegels help bladder incontinence

The content in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.