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Should You Be Doing Kegel Exercises?

by Jekaterina Gussarova July 28, 2022 5 min read

Should You Be Doing Kegel Exercises?

Should You Be Doing Kegel Exercises?

Kegel exercises are done to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor muscles are a set of muscles that control the floor of muscles when sitting on the toilet. Learn more about Kegel exercises and know if you should do them or not in this article.

Strengthening pelvic floor muscles prevents leakage of urine, preventing accidental passage of poop improves your orgasm during sexual intercourse. Whether you should do Kegel exercises depends on your conditions of the aspects mentioned before. Kegel; exercise will also help you keep the pelvic floor muscles fit and prevent sagging of the bladder, and bowel, a condition known as pelvic organ prolapse. So, there are many reasons you should do Kegel exercises.

What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

The pelvic floor muscles can weaken over time because of your health condition. When this happens, the muscles will eventually sag towards the vagina, leading to pelvic organ prolapse. These health conditions include

Natural Aging

Aging is a compulsory biological process that leads weakening of the pelvic floor, rectum, and anal muscles sagging. Additionally, loss of estrogen weakens these muscles to a large extent.

Genetics

People born with a special genetic combination might have a high risk of weakening the pelvic floor muscles, leading to sagging regardless of age.

  • Surgery involves the pelvic area and the cesarean section.
  • Being overweight or gaining weight unnecessarily.
  • Vaginal childbirth and pregnancy.
  • Frequent sneezing laughing, and coughing.
  • Physical exercises include jumping, contact sport, running, or jarring like lifting heavyweights.

How To Find Pelvic Floor Muscles

It is good to locate the pelvic floor before aiming to strengthen the muscles, so your efforts don't go wasted. Pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that usually for a sling or hammock-like structure running between the pubic bone in front to the tail bone at the back of the body.

  • Try to stop the floor of urine when sitting on the toilet. Doing this help you to learn how it feels, but you should do it frequently because it may lead to other complicated health problems.
  • Insert your finger into the vagina and gently squeeze the vaginal muscles around the finger. You will feel like your finger is being lifted, and it's the same when doing Kegel exercises.

How To Do Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises are easy to perform, and you can do them while doing anything else from any place. You must train by lifting, holding, and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles for some time. The time taken should be short to avoid feeling numb or sore on the muscles; it prevents developing other health problems.

  • Start by doing small exercises such as holds. Squeezes and relaxes for a short while.
  • Increase the intensity gradually by increasing the time and number of exercises done.

Do several sets a day or depending on your schedule. For instance, you can start holding and relaxing for three seconds each. You can repeat this set ten times, making up one training set. You can moderate the number to five and increase it as you continue training if ten times in one set is too high for you. You can improve the time takes for the same number of sets. For instance, holding up, relaxing, and lifting for four seconds each. You can then increase the frequency at which you do these exercises from one to two or three times a day

Biofeedback and Other Kegel Exercises Techniques

These techniques will help you if you have a hard time doing the Kegel exercises: Biofeedback training and electrical stimulation of the pelvic floor muscles help to determine if the correct pelvic floor muscles are trained. In contrast, electrical stimulation aims at recreating the sensations you should feel when the correct Kegel exercises are done.

Biofeedback training should be done with the help of a health professional. Sainz-Bueno et al. (2022) stated that biofeedback training involves inserting a small probe into the vagina and then being instructed to do a set of Kegel exercises. The process is monitored to determine whether the correct muscles are undergoing the training.

Journée & Journée (2022) stated that electrical stimulation of the pelvic floor muscles involves touching the muscles with a small amount of painless electrical current. This causes the muscles to twitch and squeeze. The sensations from these techniques should feel like the normal Kegel exercises when done correctly.

Tips For Kegel Exercises

  • Do the exercises while lying down or standing. You can consider lying down so that the exercises may seem easy if the state of your pelvic floor muscles has deteriorated for worse. Do this for a few minutes when you wake up and before you go to bed in the evening.
  • When starting, consider doing exercises that are easy for you. Do not strain as it may bring more harm than good. For instance, you can have three to five sets of Kegels exercises each day. Slowly graduate to higher intensity as your level of endurance increases.
  • Ahmed et al. (2022) advised that you avoid holding your breath while doing the Kegel exercise. Be careful not to squeeze or bear down your inner thighs, buttocks, and stomach muscles. Squeezing this muscle implies that you are off the exercises.
  • Although pelvic floor strengthening equipment exists, you don't need them in most cases as they may fail to work as advertised.

When Do You Expect Improvement After Doing A Set Of Kegel Exercises?

Espiño-Albela et al. (2022) noted that Kegel exercise results depend on the state of your pelvic floor muscles when training. For example, if the exercise isn't severe, a lady experiences low urine leakage after twelve weeks of training.

The Bottom Line

You should do Kegel exercises for your good if you have any of the conditions mentioned in the article. It is not easy for older people to do kegel exercises since their pelvic muscles have worn out and become loose. However, genetics also contribute to pelvic prolapse, and one should accept it. Whether you should do Kegel exercises depends on your conditions of the aspects mentioned above. Kegel exercise will help you keep the pelvic floor muscles fit and prevent sagging of the bladder, and bowel, a condition known as pelvic organ prolapse.  A person knows the exercise is successful if urine becomes inconsistent. You should do Kegel exercises for many reasons, but a woman should embrace them for pleasurable sexual intercourse.

References

Ahmed, A., Hassan, S. I., & Elsaba, H. A. (2022). Effect Of Four-Square Breathing Exercise On After Pains, Initiation Of Breastfeeding, And Satisfaction With Intervention Among Postpartum Mothers. Assiut Scientific Nursing Journal, 10(29), 11-22.

Espiño-Albela, A., Castaño-García, C., Díaz-Mohedo, E., & Ibáñez-Vera, A. J. (2022). Effects Of Pelvic-Floor Muscle Training In Patients With Pelvic Organ Prolapse Approached With Surgery Vs. Conservative Treatment: A Systematic Review. Journal Of Personalized Medicine, 12(5), 806.

Sainz-Bueno, J. A., Bonomi, M. J., Suárez-Serrano, C., Medrano-Sánchez, E. M., Armijo, A., Fernández-Palacín, A., & García-Mejido, J. A. (2022). Quantification Of 3/4D Ultrasound Pelvic Floor Changes Induced By Postpartum Muscle Training In Patients With Levator Ani Muscle Avulsion: A Parallel Randomized Controlled Trial. Quantitative Imaging In Medicine And Surgery, 12(4), 2213.

Journée, H. L., & Journée, S. L. (2022). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation And Transcranial Electrical Stimulation In Horses. Veterinary Clinics: Equine Practice.

Jekaterina Gussarova
Jekaterina Gussarova


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