What are Kegel exercises and what are their benefits?
Kegel exercises are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, prepare women for childbirth, and help control urinary incontinence, which can be a common issue, affecting around 70% of women during or after childbirth.
In addition to their benefits for urinary control, Kegel exercises also strengthen the muscles in the vagina, which can enhance a woman’s sexual sensation and enjoyment. This is a great reason to continue doing these exercises even after pregnancy, even if you don’t plan on having another baby.
So, how, when, and how often should you do Kegel exercises?
For your comfort, start by emptying your bladder before beginning the exercises. You can start by squeezing and lifting the pelvic floor muscles. Imagine you’re stopping and then releasing the flow of urine. Contract the muscles for 5 seconds and then rest for another 5 seconds. As you strengthen the muscles, gradually increase the contraction time to 10 seconds.
To get the best results from Kegel exercises, focus solely on the muscles of the pelvic floor. Make sure not to engage or contract any other muscles, such as those in your legs, abdomen, or buttocks. Don’t worry if it’s challenging to control this at first. With practice, it will become much easier!
As for frequency, gradually increase the number of exercises per day. You can start with sets of 15 repetitions and, over time, increase the duration of each contraction. Keep doing Kegel exercises regularly until they become a daily habit- with consistency and dedication, you’ll see the benefits!
Remember, if you have any concerns or questions about Kegel exercises, it’s always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider. Take care and enjoy the positive impact of Kegel exercises on your pelvic health!