Kegel exercise also known as pelvic floor exercise are performed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles (muscles which support the uterus, bladder and bowel). Many factors weaken pelvic floor muscles, such as, pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, aging, excessive straining due to constipation or chronic coughing, and being overweight. Pelvic floor muscles form a bowl shape in the base of the pelvis. These muscles control urine flow and help hold pelvic organs in place.
Kegel exercise not only can help prevent urine leakage, but can also be helpful for accidental passing of stool or gas. Kegel exercise exercise can be done anywhere and no one else knows you are doing it.
Benefits of kegel exercise
Pregnant women who perform kegel exercise often find they have an easier birth.
Strengthening pelvic muscles during pregnancy can help develop the ability to control muscles during labor and delivery.
Kegel exercise will also minimize two common problems during pregnancy: bladder control and hemorrhoids.
Kegel exercise prevent urine leakage and accidental passage of stool or gas.
Keep the organs above pelvic floor in the right place.
Have better blood flow to pelvic area.
Who needs to perform kegel exercise?
Women who have urine and feces leakage when they laugh, run, cough and lift something
women who have started menopause
Women who have had cancer treatments that cause early menopause
Women over the age of 40
Women who had radiation therapy near pelvis
Women who have given birth to a child
How to perform kegel exercise?
Insert a finger into the vagina and try to squeeze the muscles surrounding it. You should feel pressure around your finger. The muscles you feel ‘ lifting’ inside of you when you are trying these activities are pelvic floor muscles.
Once you have located the pelvic floor muscles, contract these muscles for 5 to 10 seconds, then relax, repeating 10 to 20 times. Empty the bladder before performing kegel exercise. Focus on tightening only pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles of abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Breathe normally during the exercise and aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.
For continued benefits, make kegel exercise a permanent part of your daily routine.
Do not perform kegel exercise if you
just had surgery
have urinary catheter in place
feel pain during sex or medical pelvic exams
Talk to your doctor about the right time to start these exercises.