There is a group of muscles called pelvic floor muscles that support some organs of the pelvic cavity. In women, these organs are the uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum. However, under conditions like disease, surgery, childbirth etc., pelvic floor muscles become weak. Therefore, they cannot support the mentioned organs adequately. In turn, the inability of pelvic floor muscles to perform their job correctly can be a reason for the development of urinary issues.
Kegel exercises for women
Kegel exercises involve a set of movements designed to construct and relax pelvic floor muscles. The primary purpose of these exercises is to strengthen mentioned muscular group. To gain its benefits, one should incorporate Kegel exercises into a part of the daily routine.
What are the benefits of doing Kegel exercises for women?
Kegel exercises are beneficial for women encountering any of the following conditions:
- Experiencing a sudden and intense urge to urinate accompanied by a large amount of urine loss right after it.
- Leakage of several drops of urine during coughing, sneezing or laughing.
- A stool leakage.
- Pregnancy/ post-childbirth period
However, there is no guarantee that Kegel exercise would help if the woman suffers from intensive urine leakage during coughing, laughing or sneezing. The same is true for those who experience a sudden loss of an insignificant amount of urine because their bladder is full.
How do you perform Kegel exercises?
To exercise pelvic floor muscles, first of all, you should clarify what these muscles are. The best way to do so is to stop urination in the midway of the process and identify which muscles are involved.
Once you know the muscles with which you are working, it is time to talk about the technique of Kegel exercises. You can perform this activity in any position comfortable for you. However, it is easier to start by doing exercise lying down. Get on your back and imagine that you are sitting on a flat surface. Now, tighten the pelvic floor muscles as if you are trying to grab this surface. Maintain this state for three seconds and then relax for three seconds as well. Try to avoid holding of breath.
It is necessary to keep the focus on your muscles while performing Kegel exercises. It helps to ensure you tighten exactly pelvic floor muscles and not those of the lower abdomen, thighs or buttocks.
Repeat Kegel exercises 10-15 cycles three times a day. The advantage of these exercises is that you can perform them whenever and wherever you want. Therefore, you do not have to schedule a separate time for this activity. However, it is worth mentioning that you shouldn’t perform Kegel exercises during urination. It helps identify pelvic floor muscles but making it a habit can lead to incomplete bladder emptying. In turn, incomplete bladder emptying can cause the development of some bladder conditions like bladder infections or bladder stones.
If you have the troubles
Remember, it is fine to ask for help if you have any troubles performing Kegel exercises. Usually, it is something you might want to discuss with your doctor or another health care provider. They can assist you in learning how to focus on and train the right muscles. You may also consider using biofeedback sessions or vaginal weighted cones.
- On the biofeedback sessions, the doctor places a pressure detector in the patient’s vagina. As a woman contracts or relaxes pelvic floor muscles, the computer measures and shows the activity of these muscles.
- To use a vaginal weighted cone, the woman inserts it into the vagina. She tries to hold it in place during daily activities by contracting pelvic floor muscles.
When to expect the results
Women regularly doing Kegel exercises can experience a decrease in the frequency of urine leakage from the first few weeks to the first few months. However, it is good to continue performing this activity and make it a permanent part of your daily routine to get the most benefit.