Erectile dysfunction can affect men of any age, although does tend to be more prevalent in older men. There are often a number of contributing factors as to why a man may not be able to get or maintain an erection. It is particularly common for men following prostate surgery to experience erectile dysfunction. Pelvic floor muscles play a very important role in getting and maintaining an erection. As such it is essential that those with erectile dysfunction have their pelvic floor muscles assessed and have an appropriate program of pelvic floor exercises prescribed to address any pelvic floor strength deficit.
Many men have often tried or at least have heard of treatment options for erectile dysfunction including medications (e.g. Viagra and Cialis), injections (e.g. Edex), penis pumps or vacuums and even penile implants. Whilst these treatments are required in some circumstances, many men don’t address impairments in their pelvic floor muscles or address lifestyle factors which may be contributing to their situation.
Pelvic floor exercises (also known as Kegels) aim at improving the function of these muscles. It is essential to know that you are correctly activating your pelvic floor muscles when attempting to do exercises. To ensure correct activation, we use a real-time ultrasound machine which enables us to visualise the pelvic floor muscles. In doing this, we can see how well you are able to contract these muscles. Once correct activation has been taught, a program of specific pelvic floor exercises will be prescribed appropriate to your baseline level of functioning.