A Kegel exercises is the name of a pelvic floor exercise, every woman, pregnant or not, should learn how to do. Kegel exercises target your pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor muscles are attached to the pelvic bone and act like a hammock, holding in your pelvic organs.
Women are encouraged to do Kegel exercises because strong pelvic floor muscles help
- Make childbirth, specifically pushing, easier.
- Prevent postpartum incontinence and tone your stretched out vaginal muscles, thereby making sex better
- Prevent incontinence from happening later in life
Involuntary leakage of urine (urinary incontinence) affects women at all ages. Decreasing levels of estrogen can weaken the muscles that have control over the urethra (the tube carrying urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Other factors, such as weight gain can make incontinence worse. Doing the exercises correctly can help in strengthening the muscles that support your uterus, rectum, bowels, bladder and also help in strengthening your vaginal muscles.
- Sit, stand, or lie down comfortably.
- Breathe slowly and deeply
- Think about your vagina and anal area, and tighten these muscles in the same way that you would to stop urinating in midstream.
- Hold this position as tightly as possible for a slow count of five while breathing normally. Relax completely. Work on holding for five seconds at a time, working up to 10 seconds contracted with 10 seconds rest in between. You should do two sets of 10 a day. You can do this exercise while watching television, at a traffic light, or at the office.
It takes from six to twelve weeks for most women to notice a change in urine loss. Remember, if you do the exercises regularly you could see results sooner and prevent stress incontinence. Once you have attained your goal, you can do the exercises three times a week. If you start having problems again with urine loss, you may need to go back to two times a day.
Over one-third of women start out squeezing the wrong muscles, a referral to a continence nurse who can teach you the correct technique is helpful.
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