Kegel exercises are movements that can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, and are ideal for women who want to improve problems with urinary incontinence or a prolapsed uterus, or want to tighten and strengthen their vaginal muscles following pregnancy and birth. However, all women can benefit from doing Kegel exercises regardless of the state of their health.
Your pelvic floor muscles support your vagina, uterus, bladder, and rectum. Take a look at the following groups of women who can benefit the most from practicing Kegel exercises regularly.
Women who have urinary incontinence
Urinary incontinence is defined as loss of bladder control, which can be problematic for women of all ages. Consult with your health care provider prior to doing Kegels to verify whether the exercise will help improve the type of urinary incontinence you’re currently suffering from.
Pregnant women and new moms
Doing Kegel exercises while pregnant can strengthen the pelvic floor to make labor and delivery relatively easier. Plus, Kegels can help prevent the leakage of urine toward the end of your pregnancy. After you give birth, Kegel exercises can help tone and tighten vaginal muscles that have become loose as a result of having a baby.
Women who want to prevent prolapsed uterus
A prolapsed uterus is when a woman’s uterus starts to slip out of its normal place. A prolapsed uterus will often slip through the cervix and into the vagina. However, having strong pelvic floor muscles can help prevent this condition from happening. Women who are at higher risk for prolapsed uterus are those who have given birth vaginally, as well as women who have gone through menopause. Do Kegel exercises regularly to lower your risk for prolapsed uterus.
Women who frequently do heavy lifting
Women who frequently lift heavy objects, or work in industries such as delivery and manufacturing are often at higher risk for prolapsed uterus as well, since straining and lifting can put excess pressure on the uterus. Do Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor, and to prevent your uterus from slipping when moving around and lifting heavy objects.
How to do Kegels
Kegel exercises are similar to the way you stop the flow of urine. To do a Kegel exercise, you must squeeze the muscles in your pelvic floor, and hold this position for seconds at a time. Another way to become more familiar with your pelvic floor muscles is to insert your finger into your vagina and attempt to squeeze your finger using your vaginal walls. After you have isolated your pelvic floor muscles, you can squeeze and exercise them at any time throughout the day, even when you’re sitting down.
Start slowly, and work your way up to squeezing your pelvic floor muscles for several seconds at a time. For example, if you’re a beginner, do Kegels for about two to four seconds, then relax. Repeat up to 10 times. As your pelvic floor becomes stronger, you can work your way up to doing Kegels for between five and 10 seconds, or however long as needed to give your pelvic floor a great workout.
CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing women with top-tier, comprehensive gynecological care. To learn more about our gynecological and women’s services, contact CarePoint Health at 1-201-791-7000 or visit our website to find a doctor.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.