Kegel exercises are exercises that help strengthen the pelvic floor – and the pelvic floor is what helps support the organs of the pelvis: the bladder, the uterus – things that will help with stress incontinence, help with overactive bladder. They’re exercises that done correctly and with efficiency and on a regular basis can certainly help prevent any sort of pelvic floor prolapse in the future, or they can help with it not getting any worse. Well, a Kegel exercise is a very specific one where you isolate the muscles of the pelvic floor.
Many ways to learn how to do kegel exercises and the best way is probably contracting the pelvic floor muscles by putting your own finger in the vagina and feeling some of the vaginal walls squeeze around it. Occasionally, and it’s not used as often anymore, we used to say learn how to stop voiding when you are in the washroom but you don’t want to do this on a repetitive basis because it will preclude you from emptying your bladder correctly.
Cones that go into the vagina can be extremely helpful in learning how to do the Kegel exercises, but once again, they must be used regularly and properly. An effective Kegel regimen can vary. I usually recommend that you start with 10, 4 times a day. They can be done anywhere, they can be done when you’re sitting when you’re standing when you’re lying down, but you must do them on a regular basis. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, bed, is a good regimen because that’s something you are doing on a regular basis every day.
And then work yourself gradually to doing 20, 4 times a day. So that would make it 80. It sounds onerous, it doesn’t take long, and it’s certainly worth the effort. I sometimes consider the pelvic floor an elevator. So if you count up to 5, the floor goes up to 5, 1-2-3-4-5; the floor relaxes 1-2-3-4-5. Very important you don’t overdo the Kegel exercises as well because you don’t want your pelvic floor to get tired.
As in everything kegel exercises, it’s like building a muscle, like going to the gym and building your biceps, it takes time, it’s worth the effort. Anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months, you will see an improvement, hopefully, and it doesn’t happen overnight. So remember to keep at it because it is worth doing…