Pelvic floor or Kegel exercises can help you control and prevent urinary incontinence and improve other health problems related to weak pelvic floor muscles. Here's a short guide on how to do them correctly.
Kegel exercises, named after the doctor who noted their effect, strengthen your pelvic floor. They involve contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are important to train because they support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor muscle exercises, can be done anywhere and anytime.
Women have many life experiences that can weaken the pelvic floor muscles, including pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, aging, straining from constipation, excessive coughing and being overweight.
Kegel exercises are beneficial for all women and can be particularly helpful if you:
Follow these expert tips to get started:
Don't make a habit of using Kegel exercises to start and stop your urine stream. Doing Kegel exercises while emptying your bladder can lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder which increases the risk of a urinary tract infection.
Women of any age can do Kegel exercises. You can do them discreetly just about any time, whether you're sitting at your desk or relaxing on the couch. Make them part of your daily routine and aim for three sets of ten repetitions.
If you're finding doing Kegel exercises difficult, don't be afraid or embarrassed about asking for help. Isolating the right muscles is not easy to start with, but it will come with practice. Your physician or other health care practitioner can give you useful tips that will help you learn.
If you do your Kegel exercises regularly, you can expect less frequent urine leakage within a few months. Many women also experience other positive effects from doing these pelvic floor muscle exercises, including improved lower abdominal tone, better vaginal health and increased enjoyment of sex. Make Kegel exercises an ongoing part of your daily routine to continue to feel the benefits.