Pelvic and bladder exercises are often recommended as a means of strengthening muscles to prevent bladder leaks. Kegels and yoga are just examples of exercises that can be performed to prevent bladder leaks.
The exercise is known as abdominal hypopressive technique (AHT) and is a breathing and “posture-correcting” approach, which is widely used. Patients breathe deeply through the diaphragm, contract the abdominal muscles after fully releasing breath, and hold their breath before relaxing.
The new review uncovered that this practice had no proof in being effective at improving bladder leaks.
Researchers explained that although there is a huge interest in AHT, “at present, there is no scientific evidence to recommend its use to patients. To date, AHT lacks scientific evidence to support its benefits. At this stage, AHT is based on a theory with 20 years of clinical practice.”
AHT only involves breathing exercises and posture-correcting exercises, which claims to help improve bladder leaks and womb prolapse. Similar exercises include Pilates and tai chi.
Urologist Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler added, “Although AHT may not help with preventing prolapse and incontinence, pelvic floor muscle exercises and Kegels do. Here is a body of literature that supports the teaching of Kegels postpartum to women in an effort to prevent prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.”
Other methods that Dr. Kavaler recommends aiding in bladder control are diet changes and maintaining a healthy weight, along with regular exercise.
Researchers recommend exercises known as pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT), which is geared towards strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.