can kegel exercises help you overcome erectile dysfunction

Can Kegel Exercises Help You Overcome Erectile Dysfunction?

By Johnathan P Cumberwell

Yes, Kegel exercises can help you overcome erectile dysfunction. They may also improve your libido

These exercises train the muscles that surround the base of your penis, called the pelvic floor. And a strong pelvic floor makes it easier to both get and maintain erections.

You perform these exercises simply by squeezing and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. 2-3 minutes a day is normally enough. 😊

The beauty of these exercises is that you can do them anywhere. And no equipment is needed.

There are also other benefits, such as better bladder control, potentially stronger orgasms, and also ejaculation control.

Let’s start by understanding these pelvic floor muscles.

The Pelvic Floor Muscles

What are the pelvic floor muscles?

The pelvic floor muscles are made up of muscles that stretch like a hammock from your tailbone at the back, to your pubic bone in front.

The two main muscle groups in the pelvic floor are called the levator ani and the coccygeus muscle. Both of these muscle groups consist of sub-muscles.

These muscles surround both your penis and your anus, and are as such very important for the proper functioning of both.

Your pelvic floor is in other words crucial for the passage of liquids and defecation, and they also support your intestines.

pelvic floor male

In addition, these pelvic muscles support sexual functions in both men and women.

Let’s look at why these muscles are important for men’s sexual functions.

How Does The Pelvic Floor Support Sexual Functions In Men?

What you see of your penis is not the full story. Yeah, your penis is actually bigger than what you see when you look down. 😂

Part of your penis is inside of you. So in other words, the beginning of your penis starts inside you, and the end sticks out of your body – which is the part you see externally.

What holds your penis in place and gives it support?

how does the pelvic floor support sexual functions in men

Partly your pelvic floor.

Now, what do you think happens if your pelvic floor is weak..?

Yeah, weak support.

And with a strong pelvic floor?

Yup, great support.

You can think of the pelvic floor as the foundation of a building. If the foundation is weak, the building will probably be weak as well.

And a strong pelvic floor will normally also mean better and stronger erections.

a strong pelvic floor will normally mean better and stronger erections e1594803772886

Let’s for a moment think of your pelvic floor as a hammock. And let’s imagine this hammock being 2 mm thick. And then you compare this to another imaginary hammock that is 20 mm thick (10x thicker).

Which one do you think offers better support?

Yeah, the thicker, bigger and stronger one.

Research has demonstrated that it is easier to get erections with a very strong pelvic floor.

This is because a strong pelvic floor supports your erections, because it helps overall bloodflow to your penis, and because it helps blood remain inside your penis to maintain the erection.

In fact, this research study which reviewed 6 existing studies, found that doing Kegel exercises can help men overcome erectile dysfunction.

research on effectiveness of kegel exercises

One research study even recommended Kegel exercises as the first line treatment for ED. 

First line treatment meaning the first remedy one should try. Before diet, before pharmaceutical pills, before anything. It recommended it as the very first action one should take to cure erectile dysfunction.

Research has also indicated that stronger pelvic floor muscles can make your orgasms more intense.

There is also a large amount of scientific evidence for increased sexual function and pleasure in women, with stronger pelvic muscles.

I have personally found that squeezing the pelvic floor while having sex, does increase my orgasmic sensations.

Scientific studies have also reported that doing Kegel exercises can help men improve the condition called premature ejaculation.

kegel exercises can improve premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation is when you ejaculate almost immediately after initiating sex.

The pelvic floor muscles are part of the system that pumps out the ejaculate when you climax.

As these muscles get stronger, it is possible to gain control over the ejaculation process, both by delaying and speeding up the time to ejaculation.

These exercises can also, to some extent, help increase your libido.

Because as you keep exercising these muscles, you become more aware of this area. This increased awareness can help your sex drive by channeling more thoughts to sex.

Also, if it becomes easier to get erections (with a stronger pelvic floor), you will sense more activity ‘down there’, which may also help increase your libido.

kegel exercises can increase your libido

How To Identify The Pelvic Floor Muscles?

The pelvic floor muscles may be a little difficult to identify, as 1) one can’t really see them, and 2) exercising them doesn’t result in a visible movement like bending your arm. 

However, it’s still quite easy to identify them. 😊

You can try this next time you urinate:

While you urinate, squeeze the muscles at the base of your penis to stop the flow of urine. Then let go so the flow of urine restarts. Then stop the flow again.

When you do this, you are using your pelvic floor muscles.

Super easy!

how to identify the pelvic floor muscles

There is also another way to identify these muscles:

While your penis is erect or semi-erect, and while you are standing up, try to lift your penis up and keep it up – by using the muscles in the penis. Then relax and let it fall. Do it again.

You now just used your pelvic floor muscles. 😊

How To Do Kegel Exercises?

One of the best ‘things’ about Kegel exercises is that they can be done anywhere. On the metro, while you eat, in a meeting, at the gym, in the shower.

And no-one will know that you are doing them. Well, unless you make funny faces. 😆 

you can do kegel exercises anywhere

And no equipment is needed either.

So how do you do Kegel exercises?

After you have learned how to identify the pelvic floor muscles, all you need to do is to squeeze them hard for a few seconds, and then relax.

This is what I do:

I squeeze my pelvic floor muscles as hard as I can for 2-3 seconds, then I relax. I do this 10 times. Then I take a little break. Then I do 10 more squeezes. Then a little break and then 10 more. That’s it. It takes 2 minutes. 😊

To achieve best results, it is preferable to focus on tightening only the pelvic floor muscles. If you also flex the muscles in the abdomen, thighs or buttocks, the training will normally become less effective.

erectile dysfunction older men 1

In addition to regular Kegel exercises, there is something called reverse Kegel exercises. These exercises also increase the strength of your pelvic floor muscles, but push them the opposite way. 

The best way to describe how to do these exercises is probably also via urinating. 

Try this: 

Instead of cutting off the flow of urine, try to instead push out the urine as fast as you can! 

This is how you do a reverse Kegel exercise. You push instead of squeeze.

And then when you know how to identify this movement, you can practice them anytime, anywhere (with no need for doing it while you urinate). 👍

how to do reverse kegel exercises

History Of Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises have taken their name after the American gynecologist Arnold Kegel. 

In the 1950’s, he introduced exercise regimens of the pelvic floor muscles for women.

He discovered that problems related to childbirth such as loosening of the vaginal canal, cystocele and prolapse of the uterus, could be resolved by performing pelvic floor exercises. 

He also realized that problems related to incontinence could be solved with these exercises. In addition, he noted that strong pelvic floor muscles helped women achieve better bladder control. 

Not only that, but women started reporting that they achieved orgasms more easily when their pelvic floor muscles were well-trained. 

These exercises have now taken the name after Arnold Kegel, and are often called Kegel exercises.

history of kegel exercises

However, he didn’t invent them. They actually date back over 6,000 years ago to Chinese Taoism.

Today, Kegel exercises are practiced not only by women to regain and increase vaginal, urethral and sexual function, but also by men. 

As awareness increases, many men have started getting their pelvic floor back in great shape.

A lot of people exercise their bodies regularly at the gym, or go running. Why not also train your pelvic floor muscles? 

Would more people exercise their pelvic floor muscles if they had the right knowledge of how important these muscles are?

I think so. And now you are armed with this knowledge. 😉

happy men laughing

My Experience With Kegel Exercises

Let me start with a confession:

I didn’t practice Kegel exercises as a means to overcome my ED.


Simply because I wasn’t aware of their benefits. I had heard about them, but I didn’t know the details.

Does that mean you too have no need for these exercises to cure your erectile dysfunction?

It depends. In my case, I believe I already had a pretty strong pelvic floor. Therefore, doing these exercises would probably not have given me a massive extra benefit.

But I do Kegel exercises today. In fact I do them every day. 👍

happy couple outdoors

My Approach To Kegel Exercises Today

After I learned how important it is to have my pelvic floor muscles in top shape, I started doing them every day.

It only takes 2 minutes, and I do them while I work, so it fits nicely into my day. It’s a small sacrifice. 

And to help myself do them, I have a calendar reminder that goes off every day before lunchtime. 

When it goes off, I take a very short break from what I am doing, and I start squeezing.

10 hard aqueezes of 2-3 seconds each. Break. 10 more. Break. 10 more.

I have been doing this for several years already. 😊

how to do kegel exercises

Should You Do Kegel Exercises?

The answer is probably yes. 

If you want to get and maintain your body in tip top shape, you probably also want to do pelvic floor exercises.

These exercises will probably ensure that your pelvic floor remains healthy. This means no (or less) problems with incontinence of both urine and defecation.

And it will give stronger support for your erections. You are then likely to get erections more easily, and hence have less of a probability of struggling with erectile dysfunction.

In my opinion, these are exercises we should all take on as part of our daily exercise regime.  

In the event you want to learn more about Kegel exercises, you can read more at Pegym, who has a good and detailed post.

should you do kegel exercises

Research Studies

Alwaal A, Breyer BN, Lue TF. Normal male sexual function: emphasis on orgasm and ejaculation. Fertil Steril. 2015 Nov;104(5):1051-60. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.08.033. Epub 2015 Sep 16.

Ballard DJ. Treatment of erectile dysfunction: can pelvic muscle exercises improve sexual function? J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 1997 Sep; 24(5):255-64.

Claes H, Baert L. Pelvic floor exercise versus surgery in the treatment of impotence. Br J Urol. 1993 Jan; 71(1):52-7.

Dorey G, Feneley RC, Speakman MJ, Robinson JP, Paterson J. Pelvic floor muscle exercises and manometric biofeedback for erectile dysfunction and postmicturition dribble: three case studies. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2003 Jan; 30(1):44-51; discussion 51-2.

research studies on kegel exercises

Dorey G, Speakman M, Feneley R, Swinkels A, Dunn C, Ewings P. Pelvic floor exercises for treating postmicturition dribble in men with erectile dysfunction: a randomized controlled trial. Urol Nurs 2004; 24: 490–7.

Dorey G, Speakman M, Feneley R, Swinkels A, Dunn C, Ewings P. Randomised controlled trial of pelvic floor muscle exercises and manometric biofeedback for erectile dysfunction. Br J General Pract 2004; 54: 819–25.

Dorey G, Speakman MJ, Feneley RC, Swinkels A, Dunn CD. Pelvic floor exercises for erectile dysfunction. BJU Int. 2005 Sep; 96(4):595-7.

Dorey G. Pelvic floor exercises as a treatment for men with erectile dysfunction. Nurs Times. 2004 Mar 23-29; 100(12):65-7.

La Pera G. Awareness and timing of pelvic floor muscle contraction, pelvic exercises and rehabilitation of pelvic floor in lifelong premature ejaculation: 5 years experience. Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2014 Jun 30; 86(2):123-5. DOI: 10.4081/aiua.2014.2.123.

scientific analysis kegel exercises

Lavoisier P, Roy P, Dantony E, Watrelot A, Ruggeri J, Dumoulin S. Pelvic-floor muscle rehabilitation in erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Phys Ther. 2014 Dec; 94(12):1731-43. DOI: 10.2522/ptj.20130354.

Martinez CS, Ferreira FV, Castro AM, Gomide LB. Women with greater pelvic floor muscle strength have better sexual function. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2014 May;93(5):497-502. doi: 10.1111/aogs.12379.

Pastore AL, Palleschi G, Fuschi A, Maggioni C, Rago R, Zucchi A, Costantini E, Carbone A. Pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation for patients with lifelong premature ejaculation: a novel therapeutic approach. Ther Adv Urol. 2014 Jun; 6(3): 83–88. DOI: 10.1177/1756287214523329.

Prota C, Gomes CM, Ribeiro LH, de Bessa J Jr, Nakano E, Dall’Oglio M, Bruschini H, Srougi M. Early postoperative pelvic-floor biofeedback improves erectile function in men undergoing radical prostatectomy: a prospective, randomized, controlled trial. Int J Impot Res. 2012 Sep; 24(5):174-8. DOI: 10.1038/ijir.2012.11.

researcher investigating results of pelvic floor analysis

Rival T, Clapeau L. Effectiveness of pelvic floor rehabilitation in erectile dysfunction: A literature review. Prog Urol. 2017 Dec;27(17):1069-1075. doi: 10.1016/j.purol.2017.09.004. Epub 2017 Oct 10.

Siegel AL. Pelvic floor muscle training in males: practical applications. Urology. 2014 Jul; 84(1):1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.urology.2014.03.016.

V. Puppo, J. Abdulcadir, A. Mannucci, L. Catania, D. Abdulcadir. The importance of the Kegel exercises for the erection of the male and female erectile organs (male and female penis). Sexologies Volume 17, n° S1, page 136 (avril 2008), DOI: 10.1016/S1158-1360(08)72894-9.

Van Kampen M, De Weerdt W, Claes H, Feys H, De Maeyer M, Van Poppel H. Treatment of erectile dysfunction by perineal exercise, electromyographic biofeedback, and electrical stimulation. Phys Ther. 2003 Jun; 83(6):536-43.