Who Needs Viagra? ; Pelvic Floor Exercises for Men ‘the Way to Boost Performance’

IT IS hardly the most macho form of keeping fit.

But pelvic floor exercises could be as good as Viagra at improving men’s sexual performance.

A study of impotent men found the exercises most commonly done by women after childbirth produced dramatic results if carried out daily.

Four out of ten said their sexual performance was back to normal after six months and a further 35 per cent said they had seen some improvement.

The findings suggest pelvic floor exercises could become a natural alternative to Viagra.

‘We would definitely recommend that pelvic floor exercises are used as a first-line approach to treating men with erectile dysfunction,’ said Dr Grace Dorey, the consultant physiotherapist who led the study at the Somerfield Nuffield Hospital in Taunton, Somerset.

‘Most of the men in the study showed an incredible improvement.

Strengthening the muscles not only improved strength but also endurance.’

Doctors believe the exercises could benefit all men and not just those with sexual problems.

In the study, published in the British Journal of General Practice, researchers recruited 55 impotent men between 22 and 78.

Twenty-eight were placed in a group who did daily pelvic floor exercises and were given lifestyle advice, such as reducing their alcohol intake.

The other 27 were advised only on lifestyle changes without being asked to perform any kind of exercises. After three months the exercising group showed significant improvements but the others had not improved at all.

At this point researchers asked them to join the exercisers and assessed them all after another three months.

The results showed the vast majority of the men were better off. A total of 22 (40 per cent) said their sexual performance was fully restored and a further 19 (35 per cent) said it was better.

Only 14 (25 per cent) said there had been no change.

Viagra was launched in 1998 as a treatment for impotence and more than a billion tablets have been sold worldwide. Pelvic floor exercises-involve tensing muscles while standing, sitting, lying, walking or even during sex.

A spokesman for the Royal College of General Practitioners said: ‘This could be a useful method of treating male patients providing they complete their exercises on a daily basis.’

NOW TEST YOURSELF

Men can follow the five exercises listed below to improve their pelvic floor muscles. The exercises should be done twice a day in sets of three. Try to hold each position for ten seconds.

1. STANDING: With feet apart, tighten pelvic floor muscles as if trying to stop flow of urine

2. SEATED: Sitting on chair with feet apart, tighten muscles as if lifting pelvic floor, but not buttocks, off chair

3. WALKING: Lift pelvic floor without overexerting

4. DURING SEX: Tighten pelvic floor muscles rhythmically

5. LYING DOWN: On back with knees bent and apart, tighten the muscles

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