Kegel Exercises: General Info

What are Kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles that support the urethra, bladder, uterus, and rectum. Pelvic floor muscles can often be weak, leading to problems with losing urine. Pregnancy, childbirth, and being overweight can weaken these muscles. Prostate surgery can weaken a man’s pelvic muscles. It is more common for women to leak urine than men. Correctly performing Kegel exercises can strengthen those muscles.

Kegel exercises: how do you do them?

Many women squeeze the wrong muscles when initially starting the exercises. It is recommended that they work with a doctor or nurse as they develop their practice. When you are sure that you are correctly performing the exercises, you may do them for five minutes twice a day. Squeeze the appropriate muscle for a count of four, then relax for a count of four. As you improve at the exercises, you can squeeze for a count of eight and relax for a count of eight. Holding your knees apart works the muscle more. It takes from six to 12 weeks for most women to see a change in their urine loss. Once the problem of urine loss is eliminated, you can fall to doing the exercises for five minutes, three times a week. If the problem resurges, you may have to go back to five minutes, two times daily. You may have to be very patient with these exercises. It takes a great deal of time to strengthen pelvic muscles. Many women, though, may see a big difference in just a few weeks.

What are the benefits of Kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises have other benefits as well. Strong pelvic floor muscles can make giving birth easier and prevent much tearing in the perineum as the child passes through the birth canal. Kegels also enhance sexual enjoyment for both men and women. Men may be able to have an orgasm without ejaculating as well as be able to reach multiples orgasms during sexual activity. In addition, Kegel exercises can prevent prolapses of the pelvic organs.