kegel exercises question

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7187
   Posted 12/20/2009 4:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I realize some folks think they might be a waste of time, but Dr. Menon's staff recommends doing them. So, I can use some instruction from those who have done these exercises (especially from those who feel it has helped). Here is what I understand I should do. Let's assume I have identified the muscles involved:
1) Slowly squeeze the muscles tight. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Loosen the muscles but do it slowly for the same 2-3 seconds. Do this 20-30 times in succession. Do this 2-3 times a day.
2) After a few days or a week, expand the time to 5-7 seconds.
Does this sound correct?
63 years old
PSA-- 3/08--2.90;  8/09--4.01; 11/09--4.19 (Free PSA 24%), this after 45 days on cipro! DREs have always been normal.  
History of BPH/prostatitis. PCA-3 test: 75.9 (bad news, guaranteeing I have to do....): Biopsy on 11/30/09. Result of biopsy:

5 out of 12 cores positive. Gleason 4+3. More specifically: 2 cores were 3+3 (one 5% and the other 30%) on one side. On the other side:2 cores are 4+3 (5%)--1 core 3+4 (30%) no peri-neural invasion. prostate is 45 grams. Stage: T1C

 Latest: Surgery with Dr. Menon at Ford Hospital, set for 1/25/10


Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25355
   Posted 12/20/2009 5:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Mel, I don't think anyone would say they are a "waste of time". From studying different people's doctors remark, shows quite a variance of opinon on the subject.

Some men don't need them. Others do them pre-surgery and during recovery. It seems to help some, and others not.

My own medical staff doesnt put much worth on them, more like, if you want to do them, do them. I think some men go a little nuts on doing them and some doctors will plainly say if you do them too much, you are tiring out the area that needs the rest and recovery.

Guess it goes back to some people feel like they have to do something active in the their cancer, and I don't think there is any harm in that, just like switching to a heart healthy diet, quitting smoking, etc.

Until you are actually on the recovery side of your exact surgery, you really won't know how you wll feel in advance. So be prepared to adjust to a new reality when you are safely on the other side.

What any good nurse or doctor will tell you in general: Listen to your body. It will let you know what it needs, i.e. meds, rest, not overdoing it. Some of the best advice I took, was to use stool softeners right from the get go, walk as much as you are comfortable, rest, take pain meds as needed (no prize for being Mr. Macho and avoiding meds). If you need them, take them.

David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 in place

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 12/20/2009 5:34 PM (GMT -6)   

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 485
   Posted 12/20/2009 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Mel, Try the National Assoc. for Continence, They have some literature on their site but also sell a pamphlet. I also liked a Mayo clinic instruction on how to do it. You can probably find it by going to their site. I have also used an instruction sheet from my wife's obgyn. I have done kegels for many years and have better control than ever. Good luck to you.


ps  You might want to disregard the Mayo clinic part about your uterus and inserting your finger into your vagina.

Diagnosed 2/2008 at age 71, PSA 9.1, Gleason 8 (5+3)and stage T1c.  CT and bone scan neg.
Robotic surgery 5/2008, nerves spared, bladder neck spared with pelvic floor reconstruction.
All margins, SV and lymph nodes were neg. 
Staged pT2c, Gleason sum 8 (5+3).
Continent at 6 weeks. 
PSA <0.1 at 18 months, Nov. 2009.

Post Edited (Carlos) : 12/20/2009 5:13:45 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 12/20/2009 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Do them. Later on it will be helpful to "pucker up" when lifting, sneezing or getting out of a deep chair when you might be prone to a little "spurt." I still do them when I think about it.
Age 55, two teens, very fit cyclist (avg 2000+ miles per year) and weight, diet, etc. consistent with good habits. Stressful job as attorney; very supporting wife who is helping me through every stage of this war.
2006 PSA - 1.5
2007 PSA - 2.3
2008 PSA - 5.3 (18 mos.)
2009 Jan. 20 - Biopsy 12 samples
        Feb 3 Dx 2/12 samples positive, low volume  (5% and 7-10%)
Gleason 3+4, later downgraded by second opinion at Johns-Hopkins to 3+3, but "it's still PCa" as my Doc said.
Laproscopic surgery April 9,  University of KY Medical Center, Lexington, 3 days in hospital, catheter removal April 21.
Pathology: clear margins, no cancer in prostate: told that this is very rare and Doc has only seen it in 3 out of over 1400 cases; I rearched the concept of "vanishing cancer" and found a tumor classification of tP0 and asked Doc if it applied to me. He said that it was unlikely because if a pathologist had done a much more detailed analysis of the tissue, he would likely find more foci somewhere, and biopsy found "needle in the haystack as opposed to the tip of the iceberg"; Nevertheless, it is a blessing;
Regardless of the science, my family says "miracle."
Now working w/ post-surgery issues....

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2691
   Posted 12/20/2009 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Cleveland Clinic endorses a technique that involves holding for 10 seconds every 12 minutes, for as long as you are awake. This is probably a good technique while in the early recovery stages. They recommend using a kitchen timer that goes off every 12 minutes.

I did that for a while, until I started back to work, then I followed a routine more like the one you described. I also did 30 quick reps 4 or 5 times a day to help train the muscles that work something like your neck muscles, that keep your head erect. Their are a set of muscles that work to react to stresses like coughing, sneezing , etc.

You can find multiple ways of doing them online.

Carlos - I like it !
Age 58, PSA 4.47 Biopsy - 2/12 cores , Gleason 4 + 5 = 9
Da Vinci, Cleveland Clinic  4/14/09   Nerves spared, but carved up a little.
0/23 lymph nodes involved  pT3a NO MX
Catheter and 2 stints in ureters for 2 weeks .
Neg Margins, bladder neck negative
Living the Good Life, cancer free  6 week PSA  <.03
3 month PSA <.01 (different lab)
5 month PSA <.03 (undetectable)
6 Month PSA <.01
1 pad a day, no progress on ED.  Trimix injections

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2457
   Posted 12/20/2009 9:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Few weeks after my DaVinci I went to a therapist that started me on Kegel exercises with bio feedback. She started me with several different exercises where I had to hold the Kegel for 10 seconds while lying on my back then resting for 10 seconds. I repeated the same exercise while sitting and then while standing. I also had to do short ones (holding for just 2 seconds and resting for 2). Every week she added 5 seconds to the time until I reached 30 seconds. She also had me do an exercise while a gradually increase the squeeze counting from one to five then decrease it down from 1 to 5. She also had me do some exercise while pulling weight or lifting. I believe that the exercises did help as I could see the result from the bio feedback.
Age: 67 at Dx on 12/30/08
PSA 9/05 1.15; 8/06 1.45; 12/07 2.41; 8/08 3.9; 11/08 3.5 free PSA 11%
2 cores out of 12 were positive Gleason (4+4) and (4+5)
Negative CT scan and bone scan done on 1/16
Robotic surgery performed 2/9/09 Dr Fagin, Austin TX
Pathology report:
Prostate weighed 57 grams size:5.2 x 5.0 x 4.9 cm
Posterior lateral lesions measuring 1.5 x 1.4 x 1.0 cm showing focal capsular penetration over a distance of 3mm.
Prostatic adenocarciroma accounts for approx. 10-20% of the hemisphere.
Gleason 4+4
both nerve bundles removed,
pT3a Nx Mx, Negative margins
seminal vesicles clean, lymph nodes: not dissected
continent after 4 months
8 weeks PSA test 4/7/09 result <0.1
5 months PSA test 7/9/09 result <0.1
8 months PSA test 10/9/09 result <0.1

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 655
   Posted 12/21/2009 7:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Greetings, Mel.  My doc has a variation of the kegel.  He said that if you try and do kegels you may or may not get it right so he recommended a simple alternative.  I met with him on Jan 2 and my surgery was scheduled for Feb 4.  He said that from that point on until he met with me 6 weeks after surgery, he wanted me to stop my flow of urine at least 4 or 5 times every time I urinated.  I started that immediately and as soon as I got my catheter out post surgery, I kept doing it for the next several weeks.  I basically had no incontinence.  I know I was fortunate, lucky and all kinds of other adjectives but it also seems this simple way to control the muscles involed in urination actually worked.  David

Diagnosed Dec 2007 during annual routine physical at age 55
PSA doubled from previous year from 1.5 to 3.2
12 biopsies - 2 pos; 2 marginal
Gleason 3+3; upgraded to 4+3 post surgery
RRP 4 Feb 08; both nerves spared
Good pathology - no margins - all encapsulated
Catheter out Feb 13 - pad free Feb 16
PSA every 90 days - ZERO's everytime!
Great wife and family who take very good care of me

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