Bladder infections – also known as urinary tract infections – are one of the causes of urinary incontinence, which is the involuntary leakage of urine.
Other triggers include being obese, having the prostate gland removed, constipation, suffering from Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, drinking too much caffeine, or due to taking certain medications.
However, by doing pelvic floor exercises men could help prevent the condition, which is more common in older people.
Previously the preserve of women – who often perform them during and after pregnancy – pelvic floor exercises are just as useful if practiced by members of the opposite gender.
They improve the strength of the muscles which help you to keep control of your bladder and urine flow.
“By exercising these muscles regularly, you can improve both the strength and endurance of your pelvic floor muscles, which helps you prevent urine leakage, among other benefits,” said Dr Hilary Jones, a GP.
Working your pelvic floor muscles could benefit your sex life too, by reducing chances of erectile dysfunction or a leak between the sheets.
These are worries that particularly concern men, with a recent survey by TENA Men finding that 65 per cent of UK men were most worried about either their partner’s orgasm, their own stamina under the sheets or erectile dysfunction when asked about what they feared most in the bedroom.
However, bladder issues are a common problem with one in ten men experiencing a problem.
Starting to train them even before you have a problem could help prevent complications later in life.
But how to locate your pelvic floor muscles?
Stopping or slowing the flow of urine when you go to the toilet will enable you to detect the muscles you need to target.
If you still don’t know where they are, it could be a good idea to ask a doctor.
Dr Hilary Jones recommends lying down when you first begin exercising them.
“Initially your pelvic floor muscles are not likely to be that strong, particularly if you weren’t aware of them, so there’s no need to have them work against gravity,” he said.
“Lying flat is a good way to initially feel that the correct muscles are working.
“As these muscles are hidden – surrounding the bladder – they’re not visible to the eye when you engage them, so you really need to concentrate.”
Many men find bending knees, with feet flat on the floor, helps too. Or you can rest your legs on a pillow or chair seat.
Clench and hold your pelvic floor muscles for a second or two, before resting for ten seconds and then repeating the process ten times.
It is best not to squeeze your buttocks or tighten your thighs or stomach at the same time, as it will only take away from the effectiveness of the exercise.