Pelvic floor exercises overview

Training the pelvic floor muscles can require a few methods, each depending on the person and their needs. As a medical aid, it is used to help strengthen the pelvic area, and keep everything together and ‘toned’.

These exercises are commonly used for tightening the vagina for sexual pleasure, reducing the effects of stress urinary incontinence, improving pelvic floor function, and others.

Holding your whole pelvis up is a very good reason to keep your pelvic muscles toned. Keeping your pelvic muscles toned can help to prevent and manage prolapse, and tighten the vagina.

A word of caution!

Do not overtrain your pelvic floor muscles! These muscles are designed to be toned, not body-builder-esque. You need these muscles to be good at relaxing – every time you breathe in – just as much as to contract when you breathe out.

If you are not getting the results you want, have pelvic pain or vaginal pain, see a pelvic physiotherapist, osteopath or other practitioner for advice.


Kegel exercises are the most commonly-known pelvic floor exercises for all purposes, including overall tone of the pelvic organs, including the bladder. 

Squeeze the pelvic floor muscles as if you are stopping the flow of urine for 10 seconds, then relax for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times, and do this three times per day.

Vaginal cones or stones

A heavy cone (or stone or other similar device) is inserted into the vagina, then you try to squeeze the pelvic floor muscles to keep the cone in place. The cone can be worn for up to 15 minutes at a time, twice daily.

How to identify and control the pelvic floor muscles


Identifying the pelvic floor muscles can be difficult for some women, and biofeedback makes this easier by using a sensor in the vagina that alerts when the pelvic floors are squeezed.

A monitor shows which muscles are ‘on’ and which have not been activated (are at rest). This helps you to figure out what’s what so you can do other forms of exercises, including Kegel’s.

Electrical circuits

An electrical circuit is used to gently stimulate muscles, including bladder muscles for treating incontinence. Treatments usually last about 20 minutes, and are done every one to four days.


Electrical acupuncture can be used on pressure points around the ankles, set up for 30 minute stretches. This is often a 12-week set of appointments, with follow-up as required.

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Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)