Pelvic floor exercises could help men overcome erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, physiotherapists say.
Such exercises are common among women, with them recommended for mothers-to-be to lower their risk of incontinence.
But research now suggests they could help around three quarters of men battling either of the common sexual issues.
Stopping urination midstream is one way of tightening the muscles, building their strength and control. Drawing the testicles upwards is another.
In the first study of its kind, experts analysed data from 650 men who used pelvic floor exercises to combat their ED and premature ejaculation.
The academic team, from James Cook University in Australia, found 47 of patients with ED admitted the exercises helped.
And the results were even more impressive for premature ejaculation, with 83 per cent having confessed that they worked. Chris Myers, study co-author, explained weak pelvic floor muscles ‘may directly impact erectile strength and the ejaculatory process’.
He added: ‘Pelvic floor exercises to prevent ED and PE are a non-invasive and a cheaper option than traditional methods.
‘However, the optimum combination of frequency and exercise will vary from individual to individual.’Mr Myers said further trials are needed to confirm that pelvic floor exercises are effective in treating sexual dysfunction.
Writing in the journal Physiotherapy, Mr Myers said 30 per cent of men suffer from premature ejaculation.
Figures suggest more than half of men over the age of 50 have erectile dysfunction, which gets more common with age.
Traditional treatments for both problems revolve around lifestyle changes and drugs, Mr Myers and his colleagues said.
The International Society of Sexual Medicine (ISSM) defines premature ejaculation as occurring within one minute of penetration.
The NHS says PE falls into two categories – primary or secondary, based on whether men have always had the issue or it recently developed.
The causes of primary premature ejaculation are often psychological, such as having a traumatic sexual experience at an early age.
Secondary premature ejaculation can be caused by both psychological and physical factors and has been linked to drinking too much alcohol.
Erectile dysfunction is a common condition which leaves men struggling to achieve or maintain an erection for sex.
The condition gets increasingly common as men get older, and mild or occasional problems may affect more than half of men over the age of 50.
Medically approved drugs which help men struggling to get an erection include Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and Spedra – Viagra is now available in the UK without a prescription.