Kegel exercises are exercises that help you to strengthen your pelvic muscles.
They are easy to perform, anytime, anywhere.
You squeeze your pelvic muscles intermittently for 3 seconds and then relax. You can do 5-10 cycles at a go and repeat them as many times daily as possible.
How does it work?
Imagine being in a public bus and you feel like farting and weeing at the same time but there is no toilet around…
You have to squeeze your pelvic muscles tightly to avoid weeing on yourself, right? If your muscles are strong enough, you will be able to endure until you get to a convenient destination. But if your muscles are weak, you won’t be able to hold it for too long.
This is the principle that applies in Kegels. There are also some devices that can be introduced to enhance the exercises.
What weakens the pelvic muscles?
•Lifting heavy objects
•Genetic disorders in which the muscles are generally weak, eg. Marfan syndrome
•Surgical intervention in which the muscles have been accidentally damaged
•Any disease that increases the pressure in the abdomen, eg. Ovarian cysts, chronic liver disease
How would you know that your pelvic muscles are weak?
*Difficulty in controlling urine or leakage of urine (incontinence) when you cough, sneeze or laugh
*Sexual dissatisfaction (lax perineum)
*Protrusion of the pelvic organs from the vagina (prolapse)
*Recurrent urinary tract infections
*Problem with passing stool (constipation, feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowel, etc)
*Kegel exercises can help to strengthen your pelvic muscles and improve your sex life and overall quality of life
*It takes time to see the results (up to 6 months). So, you have to be patient and consistent.
*Avoid risk factors that weaken your pelvic muscles, eg. Lifting heavy objects.
*Some factors cannot be avoided, eg. Ageing.
*Discuss with your doctor to get the details of what you should do. If Kegels don’t work, there are other interventions that can be done, eg. Surgery.