Kegel Exercises for Women
What are Kegel exercises?
Kegel exercises are designed to make your pelvic floor muscles stronger. These are the muscles that hold up your bladder and help keep it from leaking.
Building up your pelvic muscles with Kegel exercises can help with your bladder control.
To do Kegel exercises, you just squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. The part of your body including your hip bones is the pelvic area. At the bottom of the pelvis, several layers of muscle stretch between your legs. The muscles attach to the front, back, and sides of the pelvic bone.
How do you exercise your pelvic muscles?
Find the right muscles. Try one of the following ways to find the right muscles to squeeze.
Let your doctor, nurse, or therapist help you. Many people have trouble finding the right muscles. Your doctor, nurse, or therapist can check to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly. You can also exercise by using special weights or biofeedback. Ask your health care team about these exercise aids.
Don't squeeze other muscles at the same time. Be careful not to tighten your stomach, legs, or other muscles. Squeezing the wrong muscles can put more pressure on your bladder control muscles. Just squeeze the pelvic muscle. Don't hold your breath.
Repeat, but don't overdo it. At first, find a quiet spot to practice - your bathroom or
Do your pelvic exercises at least three times a day. Every day, use three positions: lying down, sitting, and standing. You can exercise while lying on the floor, sitting at a desk, or standing in the kitchen. Using all three positions makes the muscles strongest.
Be patient. Don't give up. It's just 5 minutes, three times a day. You may not feel your bladder control improve until after 3 to 6 weeks. Still, most women do notice an improvement after a few weeks.
My Pelvic Muscle Exercise Log
Medically reviewed by Steven Nelson, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Editorial Review: 8/1/2007