You Know You Need Kegel Exercises…Here’s Why
Kegel exercises, or “Kegels,” are exercises in which you contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles. Your pelvic floor muscles can weaken due to pregnancy, childbirth, aging, being overweight or obese and certain abdominal surgeries. Named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, the exercise was discovered in the 1950s as having many benefits for his gynecological patients. Kegels target the pubococcygeus muscle or, PC muscles for short.
In order to do Kegel exercises correctly, you’re instructed to squeeze your muscles as though you were to stop the flow of urine, so it should stand to reason that Kegels will help with urinary incontinence. Pregnancy and childbirth weakens the pelvic floor muscles so it’s a good idea to do Kegels to prevent leaks after your baby is born. Aging can also lead to urinary incontinence caused when you cough, sneeze or laugh. By strengthening the PC muscles you can gain better bladder control, be free from the embarrassment of leaks and save money on adult diapers.
Better Sex/Stronger Orgasms
The PC muscles are the one responsible for that OMG moment felt during the involuntary contractions of orgasm in both sexes. By doing Kegels every day, you strengthen the pelvic floor muscles—stronger contractions, stronger orgasm. There is also an increased blood flow to sexual organs during arousal. This in turn increases sensations. In women, stronger PC muscles provide a tighter vagina—you feel more when penetrated and your partner feels more of you. Doing Kegel exercises during intercourse is also recommended for a more enjoyable experience.
The PC muscles are like a hammock or sling holding the pelvic organs in place. When the pelvic floor muscles are too weak, the vagina and uterus can shift or completely prolapse. A benefit of Kegel exercises is they strengthen your “hammock.” Lack of muscle tone and strength in your pelvic floor muscles can lead to complete muscle atrophy—use it or lose it. This is usually found in post-menopausal women and may be due to childbirth, lack of sexual activity or masturbation. Severe cases of uterine and vaginal prolapse cause the organs to fall out of the body. The bladder can also prolapse due to weak PC muscles. Obesity can cause rectal prolapse in both older men and women.