Pelvic floor exercises good for men too

Pelvic floor exercises for men have been found to be highly effective in restoring erectile function according to recently published research. Research at the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University of the West of England, Bristol, shows that pelvic floor exercises result in the same overall improvement rate seen in a large trial of men taking Viagra.

Fifty-five men with an average age of 59 years who had experienced erectile dysfunction for 6 months or more took part in the trial, based at the Somerset Nuffield Hospital, Taunton. Dr Grace Dorey, who led the research, found that 40% of these men regained normal function, 35.5% improved, whilst 25.5% failed to improve. She also found that men 65.5% of men with erectile dysfunction also had a dribble of urine after urinating and that this embarrassing condition improved dramatically using pelvic floor muscle exercises.

The pelvic floor exercises were taught by Dr Grace Dorey who is a Specialist Continence Physiotherapist. The men were given 5 weekly sessions of these exercises with biofeedback and assessed at 3 and 6 months and practised daily home exercises.

For the last 50 years, women have been advised to perform pelvic floor exercises especially before and after childbirth, hysterectomy and the menopause. This research shows that it equally important for men to maintain the muscle tone and function of their pelvic floors.

The findings will be published in a textbook for health professionals entitled ‘Pelvic floor muscle exercises for erectile dysfunction and post-micturition dribble’. Grace has also written a textbook entitled ‘Conservative treatment of male urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction’ and a self-help guide entitled ‘Use it or Lose it!’ for men to follow.

This research was part of Grace’s PhD studies and led to the Award of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Grace, who has just won a prestigious award from the International Continence Society (UK) for the presentation of the best scientific research, commented:

“The results show clearly that pelvic floor exercises can be highly beneficial for those men with the motivation and determination to perform them. Now I am intending to raise awareness of the availability of an effective alternative to drug therapy for men experiencing erectile dysfunction. I am planning to spend the next year disseminating my research findings with a series of lectures nationally and internationally.”

This year Grace has been invited to present her research findings to a group of international physiotherapists at the International Continence Society in Florence and next year she has been invited to Vancouver to lecture to Canadian Physical Therapists.

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