Exercises are known to do good for physical health. Kegel exercises are one such. Read this article to know more about the benefits.
Kegel exercises are simple ones. It is also called pelvic muscle strengthening exercises or pelvic floor exercises. They are a clench-and-release type of activity. These exercises can make the muscles of your pelvic floor more robust and healthier. The pelvis is the region between your hips. This region is known to regulate reproductive functions. A weak pelvic floor may fail to support the adjacent body regions. This leads to issues such as the inability to control your bowels and bladder patterns. This may also cause frequent urination. After you completely understand the Kegel exercises, you can perform them anytime and anywhere. It might be done in your home or while waiting in a public place.
Kegel exercise is known to be beneficial for both men and women. Kegel exercises for men and women are known to strengthen the floor of the pelvic muscles. This helps to achieve bladder and bowel control. It also enhances sexual function.
All the muscles are known to lose efficiency after a particular age. Certain sensitive parts like the muscles in the reproductive region should be given more attention. It is good to perform kegel’s exercise when these muscles are known to lose their stability. If the muscles are becoming weak, and still you do not take efforts to improve the situation, you might fall at high risk. The fragile state can lead you to a condition called “pelvic organ prolapse” in women. If you are known to have pelvic organ prolapse, your pelvic organs begin to droop. They can sometimes start to fall into or out of your vagina.
Stress Incontinence: Leakage of a few drops of urine, which may be noticed while sneezing, laughing, or coughing.
Urinary Incontinence: Have a sudden urge to urinate even before a person could reach the restroom. This is due to the loss of control over the muscles.
Fecal Incontinence: Leakage of stools in unusual and inappropriate situations.
Recent history of hysterectomy.
Surgery in the pelvic area, such as C-section.
Giving birth through the vagina.
Frequent laughing, coughing, or sneezing.
Many contributing factors can reduce the efficiency and weaken your pelvic floor muscles. For men, it might include the surgical removal of the prostate glands. This is known as radical prostatectomy. The pelvic floor would have weakened due to conditions such as diabetes and a bladder that is overactive. For a woman, the pelvic floor muscles can be weakened due to childbirth, aging, excessive straining due to constipation or chronic coughing, surgery, and being overweight.
In order to strengthen the muscles, you should be able to locate the muscles. It varies for men and women.
Identification in a Woman:
To find the pelvic floor muscles in a woman, place a clean finger inside your vagina and try tightening your vaginal muscles around your finger. It is also possible to locate the muscles by trying to stop the mid-flow of urine. The muscles which are used for this action are your pelvic floor muscles. You must get used to knowing how these muscles contract and relax. However, this method should be used for learning purposes only. It is not a good idea to start and stop your urine regularly or too frequently just for doing Kegel exercises, especially if you have a full bladder. Incomplete emptying of the bladder is very risky. It can lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI). If you are not sure that you have found the right muscles, you need to consult a gynecologist. Your doctor might recommend using an object called a vaginal cone. Vaginal cones are used to help women to train their pelvic floor muscles. Cones are inserted into the vagina, and the pelvic floor is contracted. This will prevent them from slipping out. Consult the doctor for its appropriate usage.
Biofeedback training can also be beneficial to identify and isolate the pelvic floor muscles. In this procedure, a doctor will try to insert a small probe into your vagina. They may also put adhesive electrodes on the outside of your vaginal or anal region. The patient will be asked to do a Kegel exercise. These exercises will be monitored to identify whether you contracted the exact muscles. The duration of the contraction can also be identified.
Identification in Men:
Men often have the same trouble while identifying the correct group of pelvic floor muscles. For men, one of the ways to find them is by inserting a finger directly into the rectum and trying to squeeze it without tightening the muscles of the abdomen, buttocks region, or thighs. Another method is to tense the muscles that keep you from passing gas out. Biofeedback can also help men in locating the pelvic floor muscles.
It is necessary that you perform the Kegel exercises three times a day. These are the things to be followed:
Before you begin to exercise, make sure your bladder is empty, then sit down in a comfortable chair or lie down.
Tighten your pelvic floor muscles with minimal efforts. You could lift your pelvis for this and form a posture like a bridge. Hold this tight and count for three to five seconds.
Relax the muscles again and count up to five seconds.
Repeat this up to ten counts.
This should be done three times a day (morning, afternoon, and at night).
Breathe deeply and relax your whole body when you are doing these exercises.
Make sure that you are not tightening your stomach, buttock, thigh, and chest muscles.
After six weeks, you will feel better. Your symptoms will reduce.
Keep doing these exercises, but do not increase the counts. Overdoing it can lead to straining of your muscles when you urinate or move your bowels.
Once you learn how to perform the Kegel exercises, do not practice them simultaneously when you are urinating. Doing the exercises while you are urinating can cause the pelvic muscles floor to weaken over time. It can cause damage to the bladder and kidneys. In women, doing Kegel exercises incorrectly with too much force may cause vaginal muscles to tighten. When the vaginal muscles tighten, it can cause pain during sexual intercourse.
If you are having difficulty performing Kegel exercises? Call a doctor online.
Last reviewed at:
15 Jul 2022 - 5 min read
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