Kegel exercises are the key to helping you control pelvic floor issues and urinary incontinence. Your pelvic floor muscles support a lot of your organs, such as your bladder, small intestine and rectum, so it’s important you keep them strong. Using Kegel exercise you can strengthen those muscles, and the great thing about them is how discreet they are! You can do them at pretty much any time, wherever you may be and no one will be any wiser.
Why Bother With Kegel Exercises?
There are a few things that can weaken our pelvic floor muscles, things such as pregnancy, childbirth, surgery and getting older can all play a role.
Kegel exercises can help you if you:
- Leak a small amount of urine while sneezing, coughing or laughing.
- Have a sudden but very strong urge to urinate right before losing a big amount of urine. This is called urinary incontinence.
- Leak Stool. This is called fecal incontinence.
To try and combat urinary incontinence, you can attempt Kegel exercises during pregnancy or after giving birth. Kegel exercises have also been praised by women who have previously found it difficult reaching orgasm!
Unfortunately, Kegel exercises won’t do much for ladies who leak severe urine when they sneeze, laugh or cough. Plus, they won’t be very beneficial to ladies who leak a small amount of urine because they have a full bladder, referred to as “overflow incontinence”.
How To Carry Out Kegel Exercises
You need to start out by identifying your pelvic floor muscles, and then you need to learn how to contract and relax them effectively. Here are some tips to help you:
Find your pelvic floor muscles – You can do this by stopping urinating half way through your wee. If you can do it, you’ve found your pelvic floor muscles!
Practice your technique – Once you know where your pelvic floor muscles are, finish your wee and go and lie on your back. Tighten your muscles, count to 5 seconds, and then relax for 5 seconds. Repeat this process 4 or 5 times one after the other. Once you can do this confidently, try holding each contraction for 10 seconds and relaxing for 10 seconds.
Focus – Make sure you don’t hold your breath during exercising. You should always breathe freely! Also, concentrate on only contracting and relaxing the muscles in your pelvic floor. Leave your tummy, thighs and bum relaxed.
Repeat – Doing these exercises at least 3 times a day will improve your condition and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles within a few months! Do them permanently for the best results.
You can find some pretty good information on exercises on the Neen pelvic health blog.
Try to make Kegel exercises part of your daily routine, whether that’s doing them as you watch television or doing them as you read your mail!
See your doctor if you have trouble with these exercises.
Warning – Stopping urination half way through is not a Kegel exercise and won’t strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Only do this once to find your muscles! Making a habit of doing Kegel exercises while on the toilet can not only weaken your pelvic floor muscles, but increase the risk of incomplete emptying of your bladder which can in turn lead to infection.
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