Want a tip to improve your chances of recovering continence AND sexual function post prostatecomy?
Go to pelvic floor PT!
Burgio et al., did a study in 2006 for the Journal of Urology entitled: “Preoperateive biofeedback assisted behavioral training to decrease post-prostatectomy incontinence: a randomized, controlled trial.”
It found that attending ONE pelvic floor PT visit PREOPERATIVELY did the following:
1. Improved % of people returning to continence
The ‘control’ group, which didn’t have the SINGLE pre-op PT visit….only HALF of them were considered continent at 6 months post procedure.
2. DOUBLED the speed at which they returned to continence.
That control group? Only HALF of them were continent at 6 months post-op. The study group (remember ONE preop PT visit), their average time of return to continence was 3 months!
Better chances of recovering continence AND at literally twice the recovery speed? SIGN ME UP!
Yep. I’m with you. I recommend you get your sweet behind to see a Pelvic Floor PT in person, buy my Signature Series, or a la carte Self Muscle Exam Course, or my future prostatectomy course (mike drop!). We’ll get you headed in the right direction.
In fact, I just did a fun podcast with Dr. Orest for OldGuyTalksToMe.com…
More written info follows this link, but in case you’re in the audio-visual mood, check out a link to Orest and I’s chat, here. Okay, back to helping me not pee my pants, and get back to sex, post-prostatectomy…
What do Pelvic PTs do? Why is it so effective?
Pelvic PTs teach you about connecting your brain to your pelvic floor, and being able to sense where it is in space, as well as when it is doing what it is supposed to be doing. We also educate you to check in that your pelvic muscles are not doing too much, as it is common post-prostatectomy that the muscles actually rest in too much spasm, which is a common cause of both leakage & erectile dysfunction. See this recent post about how spasm can cause dysfunction for more in depth knowledge on that topic.
And while the study I referred to was only 1 pre-op visit, it is common for pelvic PTs to see men for 2-6 visits post-op, as well.
Oops…my prostatectomy was ages ago. Is it too late to get help now?
No! It’s not too late!! While that study looked at a single pre-op PT visit, pelvic PTs can see people decades after a prostatectomy, and are generally able to help with their functional symptoms by connecting you to your body, and improving how you use your muscles functionally to result in less (to no) leakage or erectile complaints.
Dr. Kelly…I like you…but I don’t want to talk to anyone about this, & I REALLY don’t want a young doctor working on my pelvic floor muscles.
Touché, my friend.
Guess what? My Signature Pelvic Floor Lecture & Exercise Series will teach you LOADS of stuff about your pelvic floor, and how to rehabiliate it to lead to improved function. And if you buy it & do it at home, you literally NEVER have to talk to anyone about this!
Not that I truly think that’s the best way to go about this…because I do think we ought to be open about these complaints, and that there is real help out there…
But I’m also a realist. And I KNOW there are MANY people out there who suffer in silence.
MANY people who have these complaints and will NEVER tell their doctor, or get help.
So I made my program for you, my friends. You can now get help in the comfort of your own home.
There will be a specific Prostatectomy Course released after the Signature Series (late 2021, early 2022), but the Signature Course is AMAZING and will literally change your life.
Hmmm…I kind of believe you, but I’m not ready to try PT yet.
Okay. Fair enough. If you’re not ready for full blown in person PT, I would, of course, recommend purchasing my entire Signature Series Course, or at minimum, the a la carte Self Exam Package. BUT, if none of this in your budget right now, remember to check out Orest and I’s podcast.
Do you have any other tips for me?
You bet! I’ll be doing an overview of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting … To Get Your Prostate Out” blog later this month. For now, consider these:
5 Tips for Better Pelvic Function Post-Prostatectomy
- Relaxed Breathing. I literally cannot talk about this one enough. Relax, and inhale so that all movement is in your belly, and none in your chest or neck. As you inhale, your abdomen and pelvic floor (think, rectum), should elongate with each passive inhale, and then passively reboud back inwards with each exhale. Often when we are hypertonic in pelvic floor, we can’t sense this passive movement…because it’s not happening! Our brains often hold pelvic floor rigid, which contributes to all sorts of wonkiness (see fist analogy earlier post). This lack of movement means unhealthy tissues. Unhealthy tissues leak pee and can’t get erections.
- Go to Pelvic PT. Google “Pelvic PT Near Me.” If you can’t or won’t, then buy my stuff.
- Leaking & having it limit your ability to play golf? Try a Wisner Clamp. They are not as scary as they seem. You wear them for about 2 hours at a time, and they provide a passive clamp to keep urine in, allowing you to recreate without fear of leaking. You CANNOT leave them on all day, but they will let you get through a golf game, which is nice. (Oh, as an Amazon Affiliate, I may earn a small commission from sales through the above link).
- Try gentle kegel exercise series, with the understanding that the relaxation is as important, if not moreso, than the tightening. This improves blood flow to the pelvic floor. Questions? Check out this blog post for more direction.
- Try sitting on a rolled towel, or Gooch Ball, on a soft sofa, 5-10 minutes a few days a week. This improves blood flow to the pelvic floor.
What about Viagra?
Viagra, and other commonly prescribed medications for Erectile Dysfunction, work by improving blood flow to the pelvic floor. Know what else improves blood flow to the pelvic floor? Exercise, and moving the muscles within a controlled range of motion.
Know what doesn’t improve blood flow? Having a pelvic floor clenched like a fist all day.
So if you’ve ONLY tried meds, you owe it to yourself and your partner, to consider these pelvic floor muscle relaxation and awareness techniques. You won’t be disappointed.
Your Post-Prostatectomy Homework
- At minimum, focus on the relaxed breathing, a few times a day, in a seated position, this will start the brain thinking about these pelvic floor muscles.
- Even if you JUST try the relaxed breathing before bed, this reduces our excessive tone and allows the pelvic floor to move more naturally as we sleep, improving tissue health and function.
- Once you get the muscles more relaxed, they become healthier, with more oxygen and nutrients. THEN, we can see if you require additional strengthening.
What if I don’t feel better?
Or have NO CLUE what I’m doing?
Thanks for Reading!
Check out my Pelvic Floored Signature Lecture Series for a much more in depth training of how your current pelvic floor musce status could be contributing to your pain, incontinence, constipation, pelvic organ pressure, or sexual dysfunction complaints.
And, if you haven’t already, please join my mailing list to be kept up to date on other AMAZING blog posts with practical tips for improving your pelvic (and overall) health prenatally, postpartum and beyond! Mailing list subscribers also get exclusive discounts to Pelvic Floored products, and access to subscriber only events! Don’t miss out! Sign up Today!