Kegel exercises, also called pelvic floor exercises, can help you prevent urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor problems.
Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor that support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. Kegel exercises also help strengthen vaginal muscles.
Kegel exercises can be done if you:
- Leak a few drops of urine when sneezing, laughing or coughing.
- Have a strong , sudden urge to urinate just before losing a large amount of urine.
- Leak stool.
- Are pregnant or after childbirth.
- Have persistent difficulty reaching orgasm.
Pregnant women who perform Kegel exercises often find they have an easier birth.
Strengthen pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy can help you develop the ability to control your muscles during labour and delivery.
Toning all of these muscles will minimize two common problems during pregnancy: bladder control and hemorrhoids.
Kegel exercises are also recommended after pregnancy in order to promote perineal healing, regain bladder control and strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
Kegel exercises can be done anywhere and no one knows you are doing them.
There are some pointers:
- Find the right muscles. There are a few ways to locate your pelvic floor muscles. You can insert a finger into the vagina or rectum and try to squeeze the muscles surrounding it. Practice stopping urination in midstream.
- Perfect your technique. Once you have located your pelvic floor muscles, contract these muscles for 5 seconds, then relax, and repeat 10-20 times.
- Breathe normally during the exercises.
- Be careful not to move the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks.
- Repeat this at least 3 times a day.
Make Kegel exercises part of your daily routine. You can do Kegel exercises discreetly just about anytime:
- When you are stopped at a red light.
- When you are sitting at your desk.
- When you are relaxing on the couch.