Having a baby can change your body in ways you may not initially think of. Of course, you’ll gain weight and your belly will stretch, but the muscles of your pelvic floor can also weaken, which can lead to serious problems if you don’t strengthen them again. Kegel exercises are a great way to do just that.
Kegel exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which can weaken from childbirth and pregnancy or even from being overweight or aging. Over time, if your pelvic floor muscles become too weak, they can collapse and eventually bulge into your vagina. This is called pelvic floor prolapse, which can lead to urine leakage and pelvic discomfort. Kegel exercises can prevent the development of pelvic floor prolapse. Kegel exercises are also good for:
Since Kegel exercises can be discreet, they can be done anywhere: in the car, at work or at home. They can also be done while you’re pregnant, which is good if you want to keep your pelvic muscles strong for childbirth.
The pelvic floor muscles are a set of muscles that are underneath the bladder, uterus and large intestine. All of these muscles move simultaneously when you relax and contract them, so by exercising one muscle, you exercise all muscles. If you’re unsure of which muscles you’re exercising, follow these tips:
Now that you know which muscles you’re exercising, it’s time to actually start exercising them. To do a proper Kegel exercise, follow these steps:
Eventually, you want to be able to do this exercise for 10 seconds instead of five. After doing Kegel exercises regularly every day, you should expect to see results in eight to 12 weeks.
As with any exercise, there are always tips and tricks you should be aware of before you begin. Here are some tips to help you do Kegel exercises properly:
If you’re having problems doing Kegel exercises or if you’re not sure whether the exercises are working, don’t be embarrassed to consult a doctor. He or she can give you advice on what to do or what you’re doing wrong. In some cases, biofeedback techniques may need to be administered so you know what muscles you’re working and how to properly exercise them. Here are the techniques that may be used:
Like any other muscle in your body, the pelvic floor muscles need to be exercised and kept in shape. By doing Kegel exercises often, you’ll can prevent many problems and even stop some in their tracks.