Pelvic floor exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This muscle training is most often beneficial for women after pregnancy or those with uterine or cervical prolapse or even urinary incontinence. It may also help men with retrograde ejaculation in some cases as well.
Once you know you can contract the pelvic floor muscles, you can start performing your Kegel exercise. Initially, you can perform Kegel exercises anywhere, while lying on a bed or sitting in a chair. As you get comfortable, you can practice it even in a standing position.
Steps of performing Kegel exercise
- Breathe in deeply as you contract your pelvic floor muscles, feeling your abdomen filling in with air.
- Try holding this position for three to six seconds.
- Breathe out as you release the contracted pelvic floor muscles and let the set of muscles relax for six seconds or longer.
- Do this 10 times at a stretch for one set.
If you can contract your pelvic floor muscles for six seconds without feeling tired, you can increase the duration by holding the contractions for up to 10 seconds. This should be followed by relaxing your muscles for 10 seconds.
What are pelvic floor muscles?
Your pelvic floor muscles form the bottom portion that helps support your pelvic organs, such as the uterus, bladder and bowel. These muscles aid in bladder control, helping you hold urine until you go to the washroom, which is meant to prevent leakage.
Controlling your flow of urine is crucial for women’s health, especially those suffering from urinary incontinence. Additionally, the Kegel exercises to aid in more powerful orgasms and help you pass stools and gases.
How do you identify pelvic floor muscles?
Imagine you have the urge to urinate. Now, try contracting the muscles you would normally contract while trying to control your flow of urine. (However, do not practice this technique when your bladder is full and when you are passing urine.) Try holding this pose for five seconds, and then let go.
Now, imagine you are about to have a bowel movement and try contracting the muscles that control this movement. The muscles of your buttock, abdomen and inner thighs should not contract and your pelvis should not lift. If this happens, it means you are not contracting your pelvic floor muscles but your buttocks.
To know whether you are contracting the wrong muscles (muscles other than that of the pelvic floor), place one hand on your stomach and your other hand under your buttocks or on your leg. If you feel contractions in the muscles of the abdomen, buttocks or thighs while you are trying to squeeze pelvic floor muscles, you are not doing pelvic floor exercises correctly.
When should you contact your doctor?
If you feel pain while performing the Kegel exercise or in your pelvis, stop. This exercise is not for everyone. Contact your doctor if you find difficulty performing this exercise. You may not be performing it correctly or it may not be suitable for you.
Additionally, you should seek help if you experience a pelvic organ prolapse, which can result from any woman's health condition that puts stress on the pelvic floor muscles, such as pregnancy or being overweight. Such a condition can lead to leakage of urine and feces, as well as a loss of sexual sensitivity in your vagina.
Get useful knowledge from a physical therapist who is trained in teaching pelvic floor muscle exercises by asking your doctor to refer you to one.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Pelvic Floor Muscle (Kegel) Exercises for Women to Improve Sexual Health. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/pelvic-floor-muscle-kegel-exercises-women-improve-sexual-health
Top How Do You Do Pelvic Floor Exercises Correctly Related Articles
How Do You Know if You Have a Prolapsed Uterus?Many women with a prolapsed uterus don't even notice it. Learn the symptoms of uterine prolapse, what causes a prolapsed uterus, when to see the doctor, and the treatment options you have for a uterine prolapse.
How Do You Know If You Have Rectal Prolapse?Rectal prolapse is a common issue that affects many people. Learn the signs of rectal prolapse, what causes it, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat it.
How Do You Shrink Rectal Prolapse?Rectal prolapse is a condition in which the last part of your large bowel (rectum) comes out of your anus. Ideally, you cannot shrink the prolapse. You can just restore your rectum to its normal position by manual reduction or surgery. In rectal prolapse, the rectum can only be shrunk when its mucosa is swollen due to the buildup of fluid in it. For this, before pushing it inside the anus, you can apply a few granules of sugar on it, and let it rest there for a few minutes. Sugar will absorb the excess water in the rectum and cause it to shrink.
How Do You Treat Rectal Prolapse in Kids?Learn what medical treatments can help ease symptoms of rectal prolapse in kids and speed up recovery.
Kegel Exercises for MenKegel exercises can help a man regain bladder control and help with urinary incontinence. Kegel or pelvic muscle exercises are discrete exercises that strengthen the perineal or pubococcygeus muscles. Kegels help to strengthen the muscles that control urination and improve erections. These exercises are often recommended to patients with weakened pelvic floor muscles such as patients with diabetes, patients having had a prostate surgery in the past such as a radical prostatectomy, or obese patients.
Kegel Exercises for WomenKegel exercises can help a woman regain bladder control and help with urinary incontinence. Kegels help to strengthen the muscles that control urination and improve orgasms.
There are many types of urinary incontinence (UI), which is the accidental leakage of urine. These types include stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and overflow incontinence. Urinary incontinence in men may be caused by prostate or nerve problems. Treatment depends upon the type and severity of the UI and the patient's lifestyle.
Incontinence in MenMale urinary incontinence has a variety of causes and treatments. Learn about bladder incontinence surgeries, medications for male incontinence, and how prostate health is linked to urges and leaks. Understand common types like stress and urge incontinence.
Urinary Incontinence in WomenMillions of women suffer from urinary incontinence (UI). UI occurs twice as often in women as in men. There are many types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence, urge incontinence, overactive bladder, functional incontinence, overflow incontinence, transient incontinence, and mixed incontinence.
Incontinence in WomenUrinary incontinence in women is a common problem. Overactive bladder (OAB), stress incontinence, and urge incontinence can be treated. Learn more about the types of urinary incontinence, their symptoms, and treatment options.
Foods that Make You GoWhat causes overactive bladder (OAB)? A natural remedy is to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and these foods. Learn the foods and drinks to avoid. Urinary incontinence can be stimulated by soda and fizzy drinks. These are foods and beverages that irritate your bladder.
Urinary Incontinence Products for MenThere are many types of urinary incontinence (UI), which is the accidental leakage of urine. These types include stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and overflow incontinence. Urinary incontinence in men may be caused by prostate or nerve problems. Treatment depends upon the type and severity of the UI and the patient's lifestyle.
Urinary Incontinence QuizWhat is urinary incontinence and why do people develop it? Learn all you need to know with this quiz.
What Are 4 Types of Urinary Incontinence?What is urinary continence? Learn the four different types, what causes them, and how to treat them.