How often do you think about your pelvic floor muscles? If you’re like most women, chances are, you may not keep them in the forefront of your concerns. However, these muscles play an important role in women’s health. This is because they support the cervix, uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum.
When a woman has weak kegel muscles, she may experience incontinence or an inability to fully control bowel movements. This weakening of Kegels can occur naturally over time. Some of the most common reasons include childbirth, surgery, or chronic constipation. However, doing Kegel exercises can help you strengthen them again. As a result, you could significantly improve your sense of well-being and your quality of life.
If you are unsure whether you have weak Kegel muscles, try stopping urinating mid-stream. If you can do so without any issues, congratulations, you have strong Kegel muscles. However, if you’re not successful at it, it’s ok. That’s why we’re here to help.
What are Kegel Exercises?
Kegel exercises are repeatedly squeezing and relaxing the pubococcygeus (PC) muscles. Do three or more sets of 15 repetitions throughout the day. Hold each contraction for about three to five seconds before releasing the muscles.
The great thing about them is that nobody will notice you’re doing them, so you can do them at work, standing in line at the grocery store, or when you’re stuck in traffic.
7 Benefits of Kegel Exercises
Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will result in the following benefits:
1. Prevent Incontinence
There are different types of incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when you feel the need to urinate when pressing down on your abdomen, when you cough or sneeze, or when you’re pregnant. Urge incontinence occurs when you get a sudden urge to pee and you can’t hold it in, sometimes not making it in time to the toilet.
2. Back and Hip Support
PC muscles connect to your inner core: the muscles that support your trunk and hips. When all components of your inner core are strong, you have better support for your spine.
3. Easier Childbirth
Women who do Kegel exercises throughout pregnancy have an easier time controlling vaginal muscles during delivery. In addition, postpartum recovery often includes a sore perineum, constipation, and hemorrhoids. All of these issues can be alleviated by having strong pelvic floor muscles.
4. Improved Sex Life
Kegel exercises improve blood flow to the vagina, which is an essential component for arousal. Strengthening pelvic muscles can also make the vaginal canal more sensitive and increase muscle contractions during orgasm.
5. Relief from Menopause Symptoms
There are certain aspects of menopause that you can’t control, such as hot flashes and infertility. However, doing Kegel exercises while you’re going through menopause will help you keep incontinence at bay, as well as retain elasticity of your vaginal canal.
6. Avoid Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are so weak, pelvic organs press into the vagina. You can either feel it or even see it bulging out. It’s uncomfortable and causes both urinary and fecal incontinence.
7. Improves Your Emotional Well-being
Let’s be honest: If you’re experiencing either urinary or fecal incontinence, or feel your pelvic organs sticking out of place, or suffer from regular back pain due to a weak inner core, all of these things will have a detrimental effect on your quality of life. Taking mindful daily steps can make a difference in improving your physical health and in turn, state of mind.
Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch for More Information
At OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we provide a variety of services for every woman. If you have any questions about how Kegel exercises can improve your overall health, let us help you.