What are Kegels?
Kegels are a set of exercises that target the muscles of a woman’s pelvic floor, making it former and stronger. The pelvic floor is made of connecting muscles and tissues that hold up the reproductive organs in the pelvic region.
A weakened pelvic floor leaves women with poor control of their bladder and bowel activities, resulting in urinary incontinence and inadvertent passing of gas. There is also a risk of reduced sensation in the vagina as well as a host of other intrusive conditions.
Kegels strengthens the core muscles if the pelvic floor through targeted contracting and relaxing of the pelvic floor muscles. This alternating action leads to a firmer and stronger pelvic floor.
Kegels for Pregnant and New Mothers
Pregnancy is one of the most common causes of a weakened pelvic floor. The weight of the uterus places pressure of the pelvic floor and in some instances push the organs in the pelvis region into the vagina, causing a protrusion. It is for this reason, a lot of pregnant women complain about urine leakage when carrying out mundane task or physical activities like sneezing, coughing and laughing.
Women who also experienced a vaginal birth have increased chances of having a weakened pelvic floor due to the force of pushing and the passage of the baby through the vaginal canal. New mothers notice that they have lesser control over their toilet visitations- leaking urine before they get to the toilet and even fecal incontinence in some instances.
These discomforts and other conditions triggered as a result of pregnancy and childbirth have led to medical practitioners recommending kegels prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy and after childbirth.
How to Do Kegels
Kegels target the pelvic muscles in the pelvic floor. To identify the muscles that should be targeted by your exercise, during urination halt the flow midstream, the area that gets contracted is the area targeted by Kegels.
After identifying the right muscles, tighten and contract the muscles for 5 seconds at a time, then relax for another five seconds. Alternate between contracting and relaxing the muscles up to ten times in a row, repeat this routine at least three times a day. After a few days of using a 5 second limit, increase it to up to 10 seconds at a time. The benefits of Kegels are not instantaneous, so continue to perform the pelvic exercise over a period of months. Consistent Kegels will lead to a tighter, firmer pelvic floor- physical changes can be noticed with vaginal muscles feeling tighter and firmer.
Benefits of Kegels
Kegels help women before and after pregnancies by tightening the pelvic muscles. Pregnancy and vaginal childbirth, certain conditions like obesity, can lead to a weakening of the muscles in the pelvic floor.
A weakened pelvic floor leads to the following conditions:
- Urinary Incontinence: A weakened pelvic floor leads to a leakage of urine when laughing, coughing or exercising.
- Increased Urge to Urinate: You might feel the urge of needing to go ease yourself immediately or you may be unable to hold it in before getting to the toilet.
- Difficulty Urinating and Emptying Bowel: Urination may become painful and near impossible. You may also have problems passing stool.
- Inadvertent Passing of Gas: You may pass gas by simply bending down or squatting.
- Prolapse: A condition where organs in the pelvic region push through the pelvic floor and creates a bulging feel in the vagina. A prolapse has a persistent sensation of heaviness and weight in the pelvis.
- Pelvic Pain: Constant pain may be experienced the pelvis due to the weakened pelvic floor muscles.
- Pain During Sex
Regular Kegel exercises will help prevent the development of any of the conditions listed above. However in cases where the pelvic floor is weakened, either due to pregnancy, childbirth or other conditions, performing Kegels will help tighten the muscles and lead to a tighter pelvic floor. Conditions like urinary incontinence can see a marked improvement within the first few weeks of utilizing Kegels to target the pelvic muscles.
Doing Kegels is a cheap, easy routine that has the advantage of been able to performed anywhere. For more challenging and effective results, the use of Kegel weights is highly recommended. You can do Kegels at home, school, store and any other location with no one having knowledge. All you have to do is contract and relax your pelvic muscles as a routine. Make Kegels a daily and vital exercise routine and see marked improvements in your pelvic area.