What are Kegels? Why do they matter? And how to start doing them!

Kegel exercise, also known as pelvic floor exercise, consists of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and ligaments that support the bladder, uterus and bowel. These muscles attach to the pubic bone at the front and the tail bone at the back and form the base of the pelvis.

 

Why Kegel exercises matter?

 

  • Kegel is a popularly prescribed exercise for pregnant women to prepare the pelvic floor for physiological stresses of the later stages of pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Kegel exercises is effective in treating urinary stress incontinence in both men and women.
  • These play a vital role in treating mild vaginal prolapse and preventing uterine prolapse in women.
  • For treating prostate pain and swelling resulting from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis in men.
  • Kegel exercises may also increase sexual gratification and aid in reducing premature ejaculation in men.

 

How do I strengthen my pelvic floor muscles?

There are two exercises that we recommend for retraining your pelvic floor. To begin, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet supported but apart.

 

Exercise 1 Long Hold

  • Squeeze around your back passage and your vagina, like you are trying to stop yourself passing wind or urine and try to lift the pelvic floor up.
  • Hold this for 3-5 seconds, whilst keeping your abdominal, buttock and thigh muscles relaxed.
  • Continue to breathe normally.
  • Relax for 5 seconds, then repeat this exercise for 3-5 more times.
  • Repeat the exercise 4 times a day.
  • As your pelvic floor muscles get stronger, make the exercise more challenging by increasing the number of exercises and the hold time of each exercise to 10 * 10 seconds.
  • You can also perform these exercises sitting, standing and during activities such as lifting and walking.
  • Always stop exercising when the muscle feels tired.

 

Exercise 2  Quick squeeze

  • Tighten the pelvic floor muscles as above this time holding the exercise for only one second.
  • Try to repeat 10 to 20 quick strong squeezes, four times a day.

Functional bracing:

  • Tighten your pelvic floor when you cough, sneeze or laugh and when you are doing things that require effort, like lifting.

Sources:

“MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia Kegel exercises”. Nlm.nih.gov. 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2011-09-02.

La Pera, G; Nicastro, A (1996). “A new treatment for premature ejaculation: the rehabilitation of the pelvic floor”. Journal of sex & marital therapy. 22 (1): 22–6. 

September 2, 2011 (2011-02-09). “Vaginal Prolapse”. eMedicineHealth. Retrieved 2011-09-02.

“MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Uterine prolapse”. Nlm.nih.gov. 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2011-09-02.

https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/pregnancy-and-birth/a-healthy-pregnancy/the-pelvic-floor/

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Disclaimer

“Roo and Joey” does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. We provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Readers are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider.

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