So you want to start kegel exercises? Before taking that plunge, women should understand the do’s and don’ts as well as the benefits associated with Kegels. If done correctly, women will experience control of their pelvic floor muscles, which will support their bladder, uterus, and bowel while improving vaginal and sexual health. Read more to learn more about the benefits and guidelines to kegel exercises.
Why Are Kegel Exercises Essential?
Kegels are simple and effective when it comes to women's health. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, including the levator ani, coccygeus, and pubococcygeal (PC) muscles, helps support internal organs. These muscles tend to weaken with age, especially in women that have given birth. Kegel exercises support and improve pelvic floor dysfunction, urinary incontinence, menopause, and sexual wellness.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction arises typically due to childbirth, injury, surgery, infection, postmenopausal changes, cancer treatment, and medical conditions. It is common for women to experience this at some point in their life. Kegel exercises are not the only solution when combating pelvic floor dysfunction. In most cases, a pelvic physical therapist may provide you with a wide range of tools, including strengthening exercises, stretches, relaxation techniques, manual therapy, dry needling or cupping, educational tools, biofeedback, etc., to find long-term solutions for symptoms. However, kegel exercises are a good starting point for women experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction.
When combating urinary incontinence, kegel exercises are a great way to control and support the urethra, bladder, uterus, and rectum. Experiencing urinary incontinence happens due to different events that a woman experiences throughout her life, which can be embarrassing and cause people to avoid normal activities.
Menopause is a common factor because women will experience various changes in their body, especially their pelvic floor muscles weakening, causing symptoms ranging from urinary incontinence, prolapse, intimacy issues, and more. Kegels can help with pain during sex or problems with arousal and dryness during menopause by supporting the vaginal muscles and improving circulation by boosting orgasms and lubrication.
Kegels can even be used during sex, making it easier to maximize pleasure while intensifying contractions during orgasms. Speaking of sex, incorporating lube can also be beneficial when it comes to sexual wellness. The best lubes to include during sex are CBD and natural lubes. When incorporating CBD lube, it is vital to understand that it is treated as a dietary supplement, not a medication, so doses vary from different products. Always start off small to learn how your body reacts. When used properly, CBD lube can help reduce anxiety, decrease inflammation, alleviate pelvic pain, and enhance desire and pleasure. Before using, check the ingredient lists, choose water-based CBD lube, and buy from a reputable company. Here is a CBD and natural lube to check out called Oomf lube. By incorporating Kegel exercises and lube, you will feel more relaxed and repetitive to pleasure.
How to Do Kegel Exercises?
Now that you know the benefits, here are the guidelines when it comes to Kegel exercises:
- Empty bladder. When doing Kegel exercises, it is best to have an empty bladder to ensure no straining in your muscles.
- Contact the right muscle groups. Identify your pelvic floor muscles in any position that is comfortable for you. The easiest way is to imagine that you’re stopping urination from occurring.
- Technique. To start, hold for up to three seconds and release for three seconds. You can eventually build up to five or ten seconds. Make sure you don’t flex your abdomen, thighs, or butt muscles. Also, do not hold your breath. Instead, breathe freely and focus on only tightening your pelvic floor muscles.
- Repeat. Work on three sets of 10-15 repetitions daily.
Always ask experts for advice, such as your doctor or health care provider. They can give you better feedback when using the correct muscles or provide you with vaginal weighted cones to incorporate into your Kegel exercise routine. Kegels are convenient because they can be done discreetly and are safe for everyone when performed properly.