Many factors can weaken your pelvic floor muscles, including ageing, pregnancy, being overweight, childbirth, surgery, ageing, excessive straining from constipation or chronic coughing. However, a Californian Gynaecologist called Dr Arnold Kegel developed repetitive pelvic floor contraction exercises which are clinically proven as an effective nonsurgical treatment for pelvic floor weakness. They consist of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor.
Julie Colan is a campaigner and business owner, plus a busy mum, who is on a mission to improve the pelvic floors of women everywhere. “Secret Whispers was born after I found that there were no adequate products available to help improve my pelvic floor and a lack of information available. The importance of pelvic floor exercises is often not discussed and crucially women are not given enough information about it.”
Here are 5 reasons why you should be doing daily kegel exercises every day:
1. To Avoid Incontinence
One of the main benefits of doing daily Kegel exercises every day is that they strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which are used to hold in urine.
The great thing about kegels is that anyone, at any age, who suffers with urinary incontinence or urine links can benefit from doing them. Men can also do Kegel exercises to control urinary incontinence that can happen after prostate surgery.
While the exercises mainly helps those with stress urinary incontinence, it can also work if you have urge incontinence from an overactive bladder, which causes a sudden urge to pee.
2. They Can Improve Your Sex Life
With only 25% of women reporting that they consistently climax during intercourse, orgasms can be pretty hard to reach. However, it doesn’t end there. You can increase your odds by strengthening your pelvic floor via kegel exercises. Doing Kegels helps to tighten your pubococcygeal (PC) muscle, which is one of the muscles that contract during orgasm. Though orgasmic contractions are voluntary, the more toned they are the easier it is for your body to use those muscles for orgasms.
They can also help some women relax their pelvic muscles during intercourse, making sex more pleasurable. Kegels can also be performed during sex, which can be pleasurable for the partner.
3. They Help Treat Prolapses
Keeping your pelvic floor muscles strong helps keep your pelvic organs – your uterus, bladder, and your bowel – from sagging down into the vagina. If this occurs, you are experiencing a pelvic organ prolapse. While medical procedures are available, kegel exercises can help make those muscles stronger and keep your prolapse from getting worse.
There are a number of reasons why a vagina can prolapse, including: pregnancy, childbirth, injury, menopause, and other reasons. When a muscle is weak, the best cure is to strengthen it, which is why kegel exercises are so important if you suffer from a pelvic floor disorder.
4. They Can Boost Your Confidence
Let’s face it the threat of incontinence or a prolapse can be a massive dent to your self-esteem. Incontinence also undermines your social life, it can be hard to think about going anywhere too far from a toilet and you may be worried or self-conscious about potentially smelling of urine. It is also obviously a passion killer. Kegel exercises help build both social and sexual confidence.
5. They Can Ease First-Time Labour
Pushing your newborn baby through your pelvis is demanding on not only you, but also on your pelvic floor muscles as they stretch to crazy new proportions during the process. Thankfully, kegel exercises have been proven to help lead to a faster post-birth recovery and may even lead to a shorter, smoother labour.
What About Kegel Weights?
Once you have mastered the basic Kegel exercises, you can add different devices to your exercise routine to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles even more. The most popular products are kegel weights, like the multi-award-winning Pelvic Floor Trainer from Secret Whispers.