Strengthen bladder muscles: Kegel exercises: A how-to guide for women
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Sept. 25, 2021
Kegel Exercises for Urinary Incontinence & Other Bladder Problems
Kegel exercises are one of the best natural ways to control urinary incontinence.
These simple moves can help many women and men, regardless of your age or what’s causing your problem. They strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which support your bladder. When these muscles are weak, you’re more likely to have leaks.
Here’s what you need to know:
Who benefits from Kegels? Anyone, at any age, who suffers urinary incontinence or leaks urine. While the exercise mainly helps those with stress urinary incontinence, it can also work if you have urge incontinence from overactive bladder. This causes a sudden urge to pee. You might not always make it to the bathroom. Men can do Kegel exercises to control urinary incontinence that can happen after prostate surgery.
How do you do them? Pretend you’re trying to stop the flow of pee. Pull in and squeeze those muscles. Hold the squeeze for about 10 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Try for three or four sets of 10 contractions every day.
How do Kegels help? They strengthen the muscles that help control the urethra. When these muscles are weak, you can’t control the flow as well.
When will I see results? It takes time to build your biceps, so it takes time to strengthen pelvic floor muscles, too. Give it 3 to 6 weeks. Do them daily.
When and where should I do them? The beauty of Kegels is that you can really do them just about anywhere, anytime. No one will know unless you tell them. Try a few sets in your car, at your desk, or while you watch TV. To be sure you have it right, ask your doctor or the nurse to describe the proper form. They can also check that you are doing them correctly.
Do I need any equipment? Not for Kegels alone. Doctors may suggest that women use a weighted cone or even small weights. You’ll insert it into your vagina and do your Kegels with it there. You’ll slowly increase the weight. Some doctors pair Kegels with biofeedback, a monitoring system that helps you with bodily functions like urine control. A non-invasive device – pants with electrical pads – work to stimulate the muscles of the pelvic floor and re-educate them to help control bladder leakage. Just like therapy for a weak/injured shoulder there are specialists dedicated to helping with pelvic floor weakness and dysfunction, so pelvic floor physical therapy is an option.
Are there other benefits to Kegels? Yes. They can also help you out in the bedroom. When your pelvic floor muscles are in shape, they’ll contract more strongly during an orgasm.
Pelvic floor muscle training exercises: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
Pelvic floor muscle training exercises are recommended for:
Pelvic floor muscle training exercises can help strengthen the muscles under the uterus, bladder, and bowel (large intestine). They can help both men and women who have problems with urine leakage or bowel control.
A pelvic floor muscle training exercise is like pretending that you have to urinate, and then holding it. You relax and tighten the muscles that control urine flow. It is important to find the right muscles to tighten.
The next time you have to urinate, start to go and then stop. Feel the muscles in your vagina, bladder, or anus get tight and move up. These are the pelvic floor muscles. If you feel them tighten, you have done the exercise right. Do not make it a habit to do the exercises each time while you urinate. Once you can comfortably identify the muscles, perform the exercises while seated, but NOT when you are urinating.
If you are still not sure whether you are tightening the right muscles, keep in mind that all of the muscles of the pelvic floor relax and contract at the same time. Because these muscles control the bladder, rectum, and vagina, the following tips may help:
- Women: Insert a finger into your vagina. Tighten the muscles as if you are holding in your urine, then let go. You should feel the muscles tighten and move up and down.
- Men: Insert a finger into your rectum. Tighten the muscles as if you are holding in your urine, then let go. You should feel the muscles tighten and move up and down. These are the same muscles you would tighten if you were trying to prevent yourself from passing gas.
It is very important that you keep the following muscles relaxed while doing pelvic floor muscle training exercises:
- Buttocks (the deeper, anal sphincter muscle should contract)
A woman can also strengthen these muscles by using a vaginal cone, which is a weighted device that is inserted into the vagina. Then you try to tighten the pelvic floor muscles to hold the device in place.
If you are unsure whether you are doing the pelvic floor muscle training correctly, you can use biofeedback and electrical stimulation to help find the correct muscle group to work.
- Biofeedback is a method of positive reinforcement. Electrodes are placed on the abdomen and along the anal area. Some therapists place a sensor in the vagina in women or anus in men to monitor the contraction of pelvic floor muscles.
- A monitor will display a graph showing which muscles are contracting and which are at rest. The therapist can help find the right muscles for performing pelvic floor muscle training exercises.
PERFORMING PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES:
Follow these steps:
- Begin by emptying your bladder.
- Tighten the pelvic floor muscles and hold for a count of 10.
- Relax the muscles completely for a count of 10.
- Do 10 repetitions, 3 to 5 times a day (morning, afternoon, and night).
You can do these exercises at any time and place. Most people prefer to do the exercises while lying down or sitting in a chair. After 4 to 6 weeks, most people notice some improvement. It may take as long as 3 months to see a major change.
After a couple of weeks, you can also try doing a single pelvic floor contraction at times when you are likely to leak (for example, while getting out of a chair).
A word of caution: Some people feel that they can speed up the progress by increasing the number of repetitions and the frequency of exercises. However, over-exercising can instead cause muscle fatigue and increase urine leakage.
If you feel any discomfort in your abdomen or back while doing these exercises, you are probably doing them wrong. Breathe deeply and relax your body when you do these exercises. Make sure you are not tightening your stomach, thigh, buttock, or chest muscles.
When done the right way, pelvic floor muscle exercises have been shown to be very effective at improving urinary continence.
There are physical therapists specially trained in pelvic floor muscle training. Many people benefit from formal physical therapy.
Physical Therapy Exercises Cure Incontinence
Whether you’re male or female, physical therapy and pelvic floor exercises can fix your bladder control issues.
by Featured Provider Kelly Brown Gross on Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Childbirth. Abdominal weakness. Diabetes. Prostate problems. There’s a long list of factors that can cause incontinence in women and men.
It’s a subject that’s very uncomfortable for people to talk about — even with a healthcare provider. But urinary incontinence is a widespread condition that, in most cases, can be cured with proper diagnosis and treatment. And treatment could be as easy as some exercises.
Urinary incontinence affects both women and men.
Incontinence affects women twice as much as men. But overactive bladder, bladder leakage and related issues can happen to anyone.
The most common cause of incontinence is trauma to the pelvic floor muscles. For women, that can happen after childbirth or even pregnancy. Also, menopause is a big factor for women because you lose some muscle mass. Men are more likely to develop urinary incontinence after having their prostate removed due to prostate cancer.
There are several different types of urinary incontinence. Stress incontinence and urge incontinence are the most common.
Any leakage of urine that’s preceded by increased pressure in your abdomen is due to stress incontinence. It could be a cough or a sneeze. Lifting something heavy, jumping and other physical activities can all lead to leaking urine if you have stress incontinence.
Urge incontinence happens when there’s a muscle spasm or some sort of dysfunction in your bladder that causes a strong, sudden urge to urinate. Before you’re able to get to a toilet, you leak some urine.
When you leak from both stressors and urges, you have mixed urinary incontinence. Women especially are likely to have a mix of bladder control problems causing their incontinence.
Incontinence isn’t the only bladder problem men and women face.
Urinary incontinence is a pretty obvious problem. Leakage is hard to miss. Two other common bladder issues may not seem like bigger health problems: urgency and frequency.
You gotta go. And you gotta go right now. Urinary urgency is a strong, sudden urge to use the bathroom. You don’t get any warning and, all of a sudden, you have to run off to the restroom.
Urgency alone is a real bladder problem. When you have leakage along with it, that’s urge incontinence.
Frequency just means how often you’re going to the bathroom to urinate. Going anywhere between four and six — even up to eight times — in 24 hours is normal frequency. At night, you should be able to sleep through the night and get a good, solid eight hours without having to get up. But occasionally, you might have to get up once to pee.
If you’re within those ranges, it’s a signal of good bladder health. If you wake up more than once a night or are urinating more often than every two hours, that’s high frequency.
Physical therapy can cure your bladder control issues.
Physical therapy is a conservative treatment for urinary incontinence and other bladder issues. But it’s so much more than muscle strengthening. Muscle weakness may be a contributing cause to your problem, but most of the time it’s more about coordination and muscle imbalance. You may also have incorrect posture or tight, overly active muscles.
A physical therapist can figure out the underlying causes of your bladder problems. Our featured Physical Therapist, Kelly Brown Goss, is rated in the Top 4% in the nation for pelvic floor outcomes as ranked by Focus On Therapeutic Outcomes, Inc. (FOTO). You may benefit from relaxation techniques, behavior modification or bladder retraining exercises, especially if you have an overactive bladder or urge incontinence. You may need to strengthen your core, improve your posture or exercise muscles you didn’t even know you had!
The muscles around your hips and pelvis are very close in proximity to the pelvic floor — the muscles that actually control the flow of urine. You can actually get some carryover by strengthening your hips and pelvis.
The pelvic floor muscles themselves are deeper and harder to target through traditional strength training. Strengthening them isn’t as easy as picking up some weights. But doing pelvic floor exercises can help tone these muscles and prevent urinary incontinence. That’s done primarily with Kegels, and then combined with better coordination of the deep muscles that make up your inner core.
How to Do Kegel Exercises Correctly
A Kegel is an active contraction of the pelvic floor and, if done regularly, can help you build stronger, thicker pelvic floor muscles. Despite different anatomy, Kegel exercises are the same for men as they are for women.
First, you have to find these muscles. Try stopping urination in midstream or holding back gas. That’s your pelvic floor at work. Then, lie down and repeat that movement to do a proper Kegel:
- Squeeze and lift up your pelvic floor.
- Hold the contraction for three seconds.
- Relax your pelvic floor muscles fully for three seconds.
It’s easiest to lie down at first but you can do Kegels anytime and anywhere, whether you’re cooking a meal or sitting at the office. So, it should be easy to work two to three sets of 10 repetitions into your day. As your pelvic floor muscles get stronger, hold the contraction for longer until you’re able to do so for 10 seconds.
How to Coordinate Your Inner Core Muscles
Once you’ve found your pelvic floor muscles and are able to activate them properly, it’s time to coordinate them with the rest of the inner core muscles. All of these muscles work together to manage pressure in your abdomen. And it all starts with diaphragmatic breathing, as the diaphragm and deep abdominal muscle are the other muscles that make up the inner core.
- While lying down, take a breath in, focusing on a gentle expansion of your lower ribcage and abdomen. As you do this, gently ‘let go’ of your Kegel.
- On the exhale, gently squeeze and lift your pelvic floor muscles as your abdomen and lower ribcage draw back in.
- Keep your breathing relaxed and quiet, making sure not to over engage the abdominal muscles.
With a regular routine of Kegels and diaphragmatic breathing, you can see results in a few weeks or months. And once you’ve mastered the contraction and coordination of your inner core, you can stop leakage from an unexpected urge or sudden sneeze.
Unfortunately, it’s not all cut and dried for everyone. Maybe you’ve tried Kegels and your symptoms haven’t improved or have gotten worse. Or you might not be completely cured of your incontinence and bladder issues.
If that’s the case, Kegels are probably not what your body needs and are not recommended. But other forms of pelvic physical therapy can help. Get an evaluation from a pelvic floor physical therapist to help you determine the proper exercises for your body. In 95 percent of the cases, a combination of pelvic floor physical therapy and Kegels makes a big difference, and you’re on your way to better bladder control.
Meet This Featured Provider
Learn More About:
Kelly Brown, PT, has been practicing with The Iowa Clinic since 2006. Kelly loves The Iowa Clinic because she gets to decide what is best for her patients, as well as the excellent work environment.
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Other Physical Therapy
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Kegel Exercises for Incontinence – Urology Care Foundation
Millions who suffer with urinary incontinence (leakage) feel like their bladder controls their lives. Control depends on muscles working together. This simple step can control your bladder!
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health
When the bladder fills, the bladder muscles should be relaxed and the muscles around the urethra (the tube that urine passes through), called the pelvic floor muscles, should be tight. Exercises that strengthen these muscles can help prevent leakage and calm the urge to go. These are commonly called “Kegel” exercises, named after the doctor who developed them. They can help keep your pelvic floor muscles toned and may reduce your problems with leakage or frequent urges to urinate.
Strengthen your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Once you locate your pelvic floor muscles you are ready to begin. The exercise involves squeezing then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. Squeeze the muscles for five seconds and then relax the muscles for five seconds. Be sure to take the time to relax between squeezes so that your muscles can rest before squeezing again. Each squeeze and relax counts as one repetition.
Each set of exercises should include three different positions: 10 repetitions lying down, 10 sitting, and 10 standing. Do one set in the morning and one set at night (or at least twice a day).
Control Your Pelvic Floor Muscles.
It may take some practice to learn to control your pelvic floor muscles. When doing the exercises, relax your body as much as possible and concentrate on your pelvic floor muscles. To avoid using your stomach muscles, rest your hand lightly on your belly as you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. Be sure that you do not feel any movement of your stomach. Do not hold your breath.
To test whether you are tightening the wrong muscles, squeeze your pelvic floor muscles while sitting in front of a mirror. If you see that your body is moving up and down slightly, you are also using your buttocks or thigh muscles. When done properly, no one should be able to tell that you are squeezing your pelvic floor muscles – except for you.
Image © 2003 Fairman Studios, LLC
How Often Should I Exercise?
Do your exercises often enough to make them a habit but at a minimum of 30 repetitions twice a day. Pelvic floor muscle support usually improves within 6 weeks after starting the exercises. Strengthening your pelvic floor is one step you can take to control your bladder. While incontinence and frequent sudden urges to go may be embarrassing to talk about, your health care provider can offer other treatment options that may provide further relief.
Pelvic Floor Muscle (Kegel) Exercises for Men
This information will teach you how to do pelvic floor muscle (Kegel) exercises.
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About Kegel Exercises
The goal of Kegel exercises is to help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support your bladder and bowel.
Kegel exercises can help you:
- Manage or prevent leakage of urine and stool (poop), known as incontinence.
- Improve your sexual health.
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About Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Figure 1. Your pelvic floor muscles
Your pelvic floor muscles make up the bottom of your pelvis and support your pelvic organs (see Figure 1). They’re the muscles that relax when you’re urinating (peeing), passing gas, or having a bowel movement (pooping). Your pelvic floor muscles are also the same muscles that you would use to hold in your urine in and prevent urine leakage or hold back gas.
To test this out, while you pass your first stream of urine in the morning, try to stop the stream. The muscles you’re using are your pelvic floor muscles. Don’t do this often because starting and stopping your urine stream every time you urinate can be harmful.
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How to Do Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are very easy to do. You can do them anywhere without anyone knowing.
To do a Kegel exercise, follow these steps:
- Start by holding your pelvic floor muscles in for 5 seconds. To pull in your pelvic floor, think of pulling in and lifting up your genitals. Don’t hold your breath while you do this. Counting out loud can stop you from holding your breath.
- After holding for 5 seconds, slowly and completely relax your muscles for 5 seconds.
- Repeat this process 10 times, at least 3 times every day.
Your pelvic floor muscles may get tired during this exercise. If this happens, stop and do the exercise at a later time.
Don’t use your stomach, leg, or buttock muscles when doing this exercise. Exercising these muscles won’t help you regain urinary control or improve your sexual health.
As you continue to practice these exercises, you should increase the time you hold and rest your pelvic floor muscles. Start with 5 seconds, and slowly build up the time each week until you’re holding in and resting for 10 seconds.
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When to Do Kegel Exercises
Most people prefer doing Kegel exercises while lying down on a bed or sitting in a chair. You can do them in any position you feel comfortable in. Doing Kegel exercises while standing can be very helpful because that’s usually when urinary leakage happens.
To keep your urine from leaking, try to do a Kegel exercise before these activities:
- When standing up
- Walking to the bathroom
- Sneezing or coughing
Regularly doing these exercises will help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and reduce urinary leakage.
Don’t do Kegel exercises while you have a Foley ® catheter (thin, flexible tube) in place.
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Pain and Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises shouldn’t hurt. Most people find them relaxing and easy. But if you use the wrong muscles during Kegel exercises, you may feel uncomfortable.
- If you get back or stomach pain after doing the exercises, you may be trying too hard and using your stomach or back muscles instead of your pelvic floor muscles.
- If you get a headache after doing the exercises, you may be making your chest muscles tight and holding your breath.
If you have any questions, call your nurse. You may also want to talk to your healthcare team about pelvic floor physical therapy. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help you with issues you might be having in your bladder, bowels or pelvic area.
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13 Tips to Keep Your Bladder Healthy
People rarely talk about bladder health, but everyone is affected by it. Each day, adults pass about a quart and a half of urine through the bladder and out of the body.
As people get older, the bladder changes. Visit Bladder Health for Older Adults for more information on how the bladder changes and common medical problems, including bladder infections, urinary incontinence, and urinary tract infections.
While you can’t control everything that affects bladder health, there are some steps you can take to improve bladder health. Follow these 13 tips to keep your bladder healthy.
- Drink enough fluids, especially water. Most healthy people should try to drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of fluid each day. Water is the best fluid for bladder health. At least half of fluid intake should be water. Some people need to drink less water because of certain conditions, such as kidney failure or heart disease. Ask your healthcare provider how much fluid is healthy for you.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine. Cutting down on alcohol and caffeinated foods and drinks—such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and most sodas—may help.
- Quit smoking. If you smoke, take steps to quit . If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
- Avoid constipation. Eating plenty of high-fiber foods (like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits), drinking enough water, and being physically active can help prevent constipation.
- Keep a healthy weight. Making healthy food choices and being physically active can help you keep a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help prevent bladder problems, as well as constipation. It can also help you keep a healthy weight.
- Do pelvic floor muscle exercises. Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, help hold urine in the bladder. Daily exercises can strengthen these muscles, which can help keep urine from leaking when you sneeze, cough, lift, laugh, or have a sudden urge to urinate.
- Use the bathroom often and when needed. Try to urinate at least every 3 to 4 hours. Holding urine in your bladder for too long can weaken your bladder muscles and make a bladder infection more likely.
- Take enough time to fully empty the bladder when urinating. Rushing when you urinate may not allow you to fully empty the bladder. If urine stays in the bladder too long, it can make a bladder infection more likely.
- Be in a relaxed position while urinating. Relaxing the muscles around the bladder will make it easier to empty the bladder. For women, hovering over the toilet seat may make it hard to relax, so it is best to sit on the toilet seat.
- Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Women should wipe from front to back to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra. This step is most important after a bowel movement.
- Urinate after sex. Both women and men should urinate shortly after sex to flush away bacteria that may have entered the urethra during sex.
- Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. Wearing loose, cotton clothing will allow air to keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight-fitting jeans and nylon underwear can trap moisture and help bacteria grow.
For More Information on Bladder Health
This content is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.
May 01, 2017
90,000 Improving urinary retention | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
This information will help you improve urinary retention.
Urinary retention is the ability to prevent involuntary leakage of urine from the bladder. An involuntary leak of urine is called incontinence. Incontinence can be caused by surgery or radiation therapy to the pelvis, or by an overactive bladder.
There are a number of ways you can help train your bladder and improve your continence.Your doctor or nurse will talk with you about which method is best for you. It depends on the diagnosis and the treatment you received. If you have questions, talk to your doctor or nurse.
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Drink less liquid
- Limit fluid intake if directed by your doctor or nurse. There are no clear guidelines on how much water you need. You should drink when you are thirsty.
- If you urinate frequently (small use of the toilet) at night, do not drink any liquids after dinner.
- If you are taking medicines in the evening, take them with just one sip of water.
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Empty the bladder on schedule
- Urine every 1–2 hours if possible.
- If urine leaks during this time, urinate more frequently.
- If urine does not leak after 1–2 hours, increase the time between urinations.
- Don’t wait until the last minute before urinating.
- Empty your bladder as much as possible with each trip to the toilet.
- If you have difficulty urinating, urinate once and then leave the toilet. After 5-10 minutes, urinate again. Use the muscles in your abdominal wall (abdomen) to empty your bladder.
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Keep a urination log
Your doctor or nurse will give you:
- urination log for recording data on the amount of urine and frequency of urination;
- plastic container for collecting urine (women are given a collection bowl, men – a urine bag).
Select any 3-day period. During these three days, urinate only in a bowl or urinal. Measure the amount of urine after each urination. Write it down in your urination journal. Then pour the urine down the toilet and flush it out. If you leave home before the end of the collection period, bring a urine bag or urine collection bowl and a urination journal.
If you experience incontinence, write down this information as well. Please state how it happened:
- when you were tense;
- When pressure is applied to the bladder, such as when coughing, sneezing, bending over, lifting, or changing positions;
- with uncontrolled urge;
- on the way to the toilet;
- without your knowledge.
If you forget to get your urine sample measured or cannot do it, tell your doctor or nurse.
Take your urination journal with you to your next appointment. Your doctor or nurse will review and discuss the records with you.
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Do Kegel exercises (exercises for the pelvic floor muscles)
The main goal of Kegel exercises is to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.This will help prevent urinary incontinence.
To locate your pelvic floor muscles, pretend you are urinating. Tighten the muscles that you would use to interrupt the flow of urine while urinating. You can also squeeze the muscles you use to hold back gases when you don’t want to release them.
For Kegel exercises:
- Tighten your pelvic floor muscles for 2-3 seconds.
- Fully relax your pelvic floor muscles for 10 seconds.
- Repeat the exercise 10 times.This is one approach.
Start Kegel exercises with 3 sets daily. Increase the number of approaches to 7-10 per day as recommended by your doctor.
When you have the urge to urinate, do 4-5 Kegel exercises. Focus on stopping the urge to urinate. You should also do Kegel exercises before coughing, bending over, or lifting a weight.
For more information, read the resource Pelvic Floor Strengthening Exercises for Women (Kegel Exercises) or Pelvic Floor Strengthening Exercises (Kegel Exercises) for Men.For more specific tips for doing Kegel exercises, visit the National Association for Continence (NAFC) website at www.nafc.com.
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Limit or eliminate foods and drinks that irritate the bladder
Certain foods and drinks can irritate the bladder. Examples include foods and drinks that contain caffeine or chocolate.More examples are given in the table below.
You may need to change your diet by limiting the amount of these foods and drinks per meal. For example, do not include apple juice, cereal with milk, and banana in your breakfast at the same time. If you drink coffee, try not to add milk or sweetener to it. Changing your diet will help you to urinate less often.
|Food category|| Foods that should be limited 90 100|
* Caffeine is also a diuretic. This means it will make you urinate more often.
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Bladder training for bladder control
Pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises will help strengthen the muscles that support the urethra and bladder – by constantly squeezing them, you tone and strengthen the muscles, preventing incontinence.
Bladder Exercise – Scheduling and following toilet trips to maintain bladder control.If you drink one and a half liters of liquid a day, you must go to the toilet up to 8 times. If you have to do this more often, bladder training may help.
You will learn about the main types of incontinence and change your usual pattern of bladder emptying: This means that you will no longer go to the toilet “just like that, just in case” and will not run there at the last moment. You will train your bladder to hold more urine and learn to lengthen the periods between trips to the toilet. Try to be distracted by squeezing your pelvic floor muscles, rather than rushing to the toilet immediately when you feel the urge to urinate. Planning trips to the toilet and keeping a urination diary is helpful. This will gradually increase the time between trips to the toilet and learn to control the work of the bladder.
Behavior change – lifestyle adaptation to minimize symptoms, prevent or treat incontinence. Try not to drink too much or too little fluids throughout the day, and avoid drinks that irritate the bladder.These include caffeinated drinks and energy drinks. You can also set up an exercise regimen and change your diet to help you lose weight, which can also cause incontinence. Another good habit is maintaining hygiene after going to the toilet.
In addition to training the bladder, there are other treatments. Clinical monitoring (biofeedback) is a method of collecting and evaluating information (using a computer or sensors) during exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor to ensure that you are contracting the right muscles. Another approach is to use a special vaginal device that supports the urethra, bladder, vagina, uterus, and rectum. Other treatment options include the introduction of bulking agents around the urethra to create additional volume, as well as surgery.
Finally, you can use our incontinence care products to monitor your condition.
Find out more on other TENA websites.
90,000 Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles in women (Kegel exercises)
This information describes pelvic floor exercises (Kegel exercises).
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About Kegel exercises
The main purpose of Kegel exercises is to help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. She will help you:
- Control or prevent urinary incontinence.Incontinence is leakage of urine or stool (stool) that you cannot control.
- Support the pelvic organs (uterus, bladder and intestines). This will help reduce incontinence and soreness.
- Relax the vaginal muscles. This will provide better elasticity to the vagina, which is important if you experience pain or discomfort during intercourse or when examining the pelvic organs.
- Relieve pelvic pain.
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About the muscles of the pelvic floor
The pelvic floor muscles form the pelvic cavity and support the pelvic organs.These are the muscles that you use to stop urinating and hold back from gas or bowel movements (when you go to the bathroom in a big way). In addition, these muscles can contract (tighten) during orgasm. Figure 1 shows the pelvic floor muscles and pelvic organs.
Figure 1. Pelvic floor muscles and pelvic organs
How to identify the pelvic floor muscles
If you are not sure which muscles belong to the pelvic floor muscles, there are several ways to identify them.
- Imagine you are urinating. Tighten the muscles that you use to interrupt the flow of urine while urinating. Do not exercise your pelvic muscles by stopping the flow of urine while urinating in real life, especially if your bladder is full. This can weaken your pelvic muscles and cause your bladder to not empty completely during urination, increasing your risk of urinary tract infection (UTI).
- Tighten the muscles you use to hold back a bowel movement or gas, but do not contract your glutes, abdominals, or inner thighs.If you do it right, your body shouldn’t be lifting at all. If you feel that your body is lifting a little, you are most likely using the muscles of the buttocks.
- Insert your finger into the vagina and then squeeze the pelvic floor muscles around the finger. You should feel the muscles in your vagina tighten and your pelvic floor moves upward.
When you contract your pelvic floor muscles, you do not need to use your abdominal muscles, legs or buttocks. Contraction of these muscles does not help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.To find out if the muscles in your abdomen, legs, or buttocks are also contracting, you can place one hand on your stomach and the other under your buttocks or thighs. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles. If you feel the movement of your abdominals, hips, or buttocks, then you are using the wrong muscles.
Be sure to completely relax your pelvic floor muscles after contracting. If you are having difficulty identifying your pelvic floor muscles, see your doctor.
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Performing Kegel exercises
Once you are comfortable with contracting your pelvic floor muscles, do 2 to 3 sessions of Kegel exercises daily for best results.These sessions are best done at regular intervals throughout the day.
Before you begin, get into a comfortable position to keep your body relaxed. Basically, people prefer to do Kegel exercises while lying in bed or sitting on a chair. Once you are familiar with the exercises, you can do them in any position and anywhere, such as standing somewhere and waiting in line.
With a comfortable position, follow the instructions below:
- Inhale deeply through the nose to contract the abdominal muscles and fill the lungs with air.During inhalation, the pelvic floor muscles should be relaxed.
- Take a slow deep breath through your mouth while gently contracting your pelvic floor muscles.
- Keep your pelvic floor muscles contracted for 3-6 seconds (until they start to tire) as you exhale. This is called a cut.
- Inhale again and stop contracting the muscles. This will allow the muscles to relax.
- Relax your pelvic floor muscles completely for 6-10 seconds.It is very important to completely relax the muscles between each contraction and not hold your breath. Always keep your muscles relaxed as long as they were contracted, or a little longer.
Do this exercise for 10 repetitions per session.
If you feel pain while doing Kegel exercises, stop doing them immediately. Kegel exercises are not harmful, but not suitable for everyone. When done correctly, many find them relaxing.They shouldn’t be painful. If you experience pain during or after Kegel exercises, you may be doing them incorrectly or the Kegel exercises may not be right for you. Call your healthcare provider to discuss this.
When to lengthen the duration of contractions
If the pelvic floor muscles do not start to fatigue after contracting for 3-6 seconds or after doing 10 repetitions of Kegel in a row, you can increase the duration of the contraction to 6-10 seconds, then completely relaxing the muscles for 10 seconds.Be sure to keep breathing during the muscle contraction.
Try to achieve the goal of holding a strong contraction for 10 seconds 10 times in a row.
If you are having difficulty doing Kegel exercises, a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor muscles can help. Ask your healthcare provider to refer you to such a specialist.
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What to do if you have pain or urinary incontinence
If you still have problems with pelvic pain or incontinence, talk to your healthcare professional for a referral to one of MSK’s physical therapists, a pelvic health specialist.This specialist will be able to understand the causes of pain or problems in the pelvic floor area. You can also ask for a referral to a physiotherapist if you have difficulty doing Kegel exercises.
MSK Physiotherapists provide services at the following address:
Sillerman Center for Rehabilitation
515 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor
(entrance from 53 rd Street between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue)
New York, NY 10022
The Sillerman Rehabilitation Center can be called at 646-888-1900.
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Support and information regarding sexual health and intimate life
If you need additional support or information about sexual and intimate health, talk to your healthcare provider about the Female Sexual Medicine & Women’s Health Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK). For more information or to make an appointment, call 646-888-5076.
Female Sexual Medicine & Women’s Health Program services are available in the following locations:
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Tell your healthcare provider if you have:
- Difficulty in identifying the pelvic floor muscles;
- painful sensations when performing Kegel exercises;
- Difficulty performing Kegel exercises;
- Concern about bowel, bladder, or sexual function;
- pain in the pelvic region;
- Questions requiring referral to a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic health.
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90,000 Kegel exercises for men. Practical advice of doctors
Men with mild urination disorder often give up and even give up on themselves. They stop leading an active lifestyle, enter into intimate relationships. Blues, depression, isolation replace them with the joys of life. This view of the problem is fundamentally wrong – any urologist will tell you. There is a whole range of preventive measures that can not only weaken the symptoms of the disease, but also reverse the development of the disease.Observing simple rules, every member of the stronger sex can get rid of urinary incontinence, return to duty, and enjoy life again.
Kegel exercises for men. A complex to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor.
To understand which muscles control urination, to feel them, you need to try to stop during urination, pause and continue again. This can be repeated several times to understand where the pelvic floor muscles are located and how they work.When you stop the flow of urine, they constrict the urethra and anus.
Once you understand where the muscles are located and how you control them at the time of urination, proceed to the next step. Now you need to try to tighten your muscles without excreting urine, that is, make several training movements. Please note that it is the pelvic floor muscles that must contract. Other muscles should not be involved. If you feel tension, for example, in the lower abdomen or lower back, then you are doing something wrong.You need to go back to the first point and repeat all over again.
The next step is regular training. Working with the muscles that control your urination is structured in the same way as working with any muscles in the body. You need to alternate tension and relaxation. Tighten your muscles, stay in this state for 3 seconds, then relax also for 3 seconds. Repeat the exercise again. Each approach should include 10-15 exercises. You need to do at least 3 approaches per day.
The nice thing is that your training will remain invisible to others. The movement of the pelvic muscles is invisible to outsiders, so you can repeat activities in any situation and environment: in transport, at work, in line at the bank or at the checkout counter, doing household chores or taking an evening walk.
Remember that the most important thing in training is regularity. Daily Kegel exercises lead to the fact that gradually the pelvic floor muscles become strong and begin to fully perform their functions, which means that you again become the master of the situation.
We are what we eat. Food can help us cope with illness, or, conversely, worsen the condition and provoke new ailments. For mild urinary incontinence, it is very important to follow your diet. Urologists recommend paying close attention to what and when you eat, since the correct diet is one of the effective therapeutic methods for treating this disease. In addition, if you are at risk, have early signs of a urinary disorder or predisposition, you should also take a closer look at your daily diet.
There are a number of foods that irritate the bladder and cause incontinence.
For a long time, the medical community has been debating the benefits and dangers of coffee. Doctors agree on one thing – coffee is extremely harmful for those who suffer from incontinence. The fact is that caffeine provokes the work of the bladder, and also acts as a strong diuretic. For all those who do not need unnecessary sources of uncontrolled urination, caffeine, and therefore coffee should be eliminated.
Chocolate, like coffee, contains caffeine. For many, excluding such expensive and beloved foods as coffee and chocolate from the diet seems impossible. Remember, we are the masters of our own destiny, it is wrong to trust our lives to chocolate and coffee, experiencing anxiety and inconvenience every time after using them. If you are an avid coffee lover and have a sweet tooth, reduce your doses gradually: not four cups a day, but one, not a bar of chocolate, but one candy.
Minimize your consumption of alcoholic beverages.Alcohol robs you of your bladder control by disrupting neurological processes in your body. Also, alcohol often acts as a diuretic, and as a result we get the opposite effect from what we were aiming for in our fight against incontinence. Alcohol can negate all the efforts to regain urinary control.
4. Hot spices
Mexican, Chinese and other “spicy cuisine” is not an assistant in the fight against urinary incontinence. Foods rich in savory spices stimulate the bladder.
5. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits such as orange or grapefruit juice can irritate the bladder mucosa. They should be avoided.
By removing foods from the above “blacklist”, expand your diet with healthy ones.
6. Plant food
Plant food is a friend and ally of the person suffering from incontinence. Fiber can help alleviate constipation, which can also cause uncontrolled urination. Whole grains and non-citrus fruits and vegetables are high in fiber.
7. Fruit juices
It might not hurt to include some fruit juices in your diet. The acidity in apple, grape, or cherry juice makes your urine more acidic and prevents bacteria from growing in your urinary tract. Pathogenic flora can provoke frequent urge to use the toilet, and, consequently, incontinence. However, do not forget that the juices must be freshly squeezed. Manufactured drinks may contain excessive amounts of sugar, which stimulates the activity of the bladder.
Drink water. Do not try to artificially reduce the amount of fluid you consume. This will not help you combat frequent urges. Your body needs clean water, without it, urine becomes highly concentrated, which leads to irritation of the bladder. It is advisable to drink water either at room temperature or warm.
Be in shape
Weight control is necessary for everyone, but especially for those who have a predisposition to incontinence! Recent studies have shown that even 10% reduction in overweight patients led to positive results – the unpleasant symptoms of incontinence were reduced.
Avoid strenuous physical activity during weight loss. A gym isn’t right for you right now. Lifting weights, bench presses, intense exercise can provoke the further development of the disease. Jumping and sudden movements are also contraindicated.
In order to correct your incontinence weight, experts recommend walking, swimming, or a daily set of simple exercises.
Standing still, raise your knees several times to the height that is comfortable for you at the moment.Walk around the room, lifting your legs as well. Repeat the exercise 3-5 times.
Putting your hands on your belt, swing your legs forward, to the side, back. The leg should be straight. Repeat the exercise 3-5 times. You do not need to immediately try to make a big swing, raise your leg high. Exercise in your comfort zone without over-straining your muscles.
Perform squats with your feet together and your arms straight in front of you. Repeat 3-5 times.
Lean forward a few times. Try to touch your right foot with your fingers, then your left foot, then touch the floor in the middle. Repeat 3-5 times.
Raise your arms up and tilt your torso to the right and left. Repeat 3-5 times.
Gradually, your body will get used to daily exercises, then you can increase the number of approaches, introduce more complex exercises into the complex.
Physicians suggest that the effect of nicotine on the bladder leads to an increase in the tone of the smooth muscles of the bladder and prostate gland, which leads to uncontrolled urination.Also, nicotine disrupts the hormonal background of the body, which is reflected in the instability of all systems.
In addition, the smoker’s cough provokes unwanted urine leakage. Smoking is a habit, abandoning which, you will feel how your body will say “Thank you”.
Contact a specialist!
Urologists never tire of repeating that prevention of the disease and timely referral to a specialist is your opportunity to quickly deal with an unpleasant ailment. Early urinary incontinence is treated.Don’t bury your head in the sand, don’t hesitate to tell the doctor about your problem. With the help of specialists, you can quickly and painlessly return to a fulfilling life!
90,000 Everything you wanted to know about Kegel exercises
Kegel exercises are simple exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. They can be performed by both men and women, and the benefits of such gymnastics for the health of the genitourinary system, including for people who have problems with urination control, have been proven by numerous studies.
To prevent the effects of urinary incontinence from interfering with your focus on the recovery and rehabilitation process (which includes training your pelvic muscles), use properly selected and reliable absorbent products throughout the recovery period, such as the iD Light urological pads, iD Pants or iD diapers. Slip.
How are Kegel exercises useful and for whom
Improving the tone of the pelvic floor muscles helps to better control the function of the sphincters, which are responsible for urination and defecation, as well as the function of the bladder and urethra.Kegel exercises have another significant effect – improving the tone of the vaginal muscles in women and the characteristics of erectile function in men, which helps to improve the quality of intimate life.
They can be executed:
- For men of any age for the prevention of erectile dysfunction and incontinence.
- For women of any age for the prevention of incontinence, especially in the postpartum and menopause, as well as to improve the tone of the vaginal muscles and the quality of intimate life.
- Anyone who is faced with the problem of urinary incontinence, to reduce the manifestations of this problem or to completely eliminate it. It is recommended that you consult with a specialist before starting the exercise.
How to do Kegel exercises
- Learn to feel the work of the desired muscle group. It will be easier to do this while urinating. Try to stop the flow of urine until the bladder is completely empty.Those muscles, the tension of which you feel at the moment of stopping, will be your goal. Remember this feeling. Then relax and continue urinating. For better memorization, you can repeat these steps a few more times. Then try to tense those same muscles outside the urination process.
- Gradually squeeze the muscles that were involved in stopping the flow of urine, slowly counting to 5. Then, just as slowly relax the muscles, counting to 5. When you are easy to do this exercise, try to complicate it a little: make sure that the wave of tension goes up along the urinary channel or along the vagina, and try to direct the relaxation wave from top to bottom.This is one of the options for Kegel exercises, which is called “Lift”.
- Remember regularity. Do 10 repetitions of each exercise and try to repeat the set 2-3 times a day.
- Focus on just one muscle group. While contracting your pelvic muscles, try not to tense the muscles in your abdomen, legs, and buttocks, and do not hold your breath.
- The exercises can be performed while sitting, lying down, or standing. Therefore, it is easy to use any free moment to benefit your health.
When to expect the result
The first results can be noticeable after a few weeks or a couple of months from the start of classes. In the studies conducted, a stable result was found in the subjects after 2-6 months from the beginning of the exercise.
As long as you regain control of urination, use iD absorbent products to help you feel comfortable and confident and not restrict your social activities.
How to do Kegel exercises for women at home
Gymnastics for women using the Kegel method in modern performance has been known only since the 20th century, but long before that, the fairer sex trained the pelvic floor muscles with the help of exercises and various devices. One of the specific simulators used in antiquity was a stone egg with a strong thread. It was placed in the vagina, after which the work of the muscles had to hold or push and move this rounded stone inside.Sometimes a weight was suspended from a strong thread to increase the effectiveness of the exercise.
Mention has come down to us that women were engaged in muscle training in the small pelvis in Ancient Egypt, China, India and other countries. For the most part, hetaira, priestess and geisha paid attention to such gymnastics. The technique was hidden, used secretly, so only scanty data have survived to this day on how exactly the exercises were carried out.
Already in the XX century, ancient traditions were resumed and became widely known as Kegel gymnastics for urinary incontinence in women.Doctors recommended using this technique as an additional measure in the treatment of incontinence that occurs during exertion, coughing, sneezing and other situations when intra-abdominal pressure increases. The systematic implementation of medical recommendations helped to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, respectively, eliminating the involuntary flow of urine.
The first mention of the benefits of exercise therapy belongs to the US physician Joshua Davis (1932), but the technique was best known in 1948.thanks to the American scientist Arnold Kegel, who presented the simulator and gave his name to gymnastics. Since then, the Kegel complex for women and men at home has gained massive popularity, it is still relevant today.
Benefits of Kegel gymnastics for incontinence
The muscle fibers of the pelvic floor form a kind of hammock at the base of the pelvis. Their task is to fix and strengthen bone tissue, hold the bladder, urethra, intestines, uterus and maintain their performance.The weakening of these muscles is due to various reasons. This can be overweight, genetics, persistent constipation, menopause, excessive exercise, and more.
Whatever the cause of muscle weakness, the Kegel Complex for Women is specially formulated to strengthen them. The only condition is regularity and correct implementation. Exercise should be done until the pelvic muscles learn to reflexively contract in response to increased intra-abdominal pressure.Such a reflex will eliminate the involuntary leakage of urine.
So, it is advisable to do Kegel exercises for urinary incontinence in women if:
- urine is excreted during coughing or sneezing, laughing and physical exertion, as well as during intimate relationships;
- during sports you have to wear urological pads;
- muscles weakened after pregnancy and childbirth;
- unable to hold urine in case of urgent urge.
In these situations, Kegel exercises will help strengthen the muscles of the genitourinary organs, and the problem will be solved quickly and efficiently.
Kegel gymnastics for pregnant and giving birth women
Pregnancy and childbirth is a difficult process for the body, during which the condition of the muscles in the small pelvis plays an important role. The weak tone of other muscles in the body, although it can cause discomfort, is not so dangerous. Weakened pelvic muscles are fraught with painful, prolonged labor, as well as decreased libido, prolapse and prolapse of the uterus, urinary incontinence.Often, women are faced with urine leakage, both during pregnancy (the fetus presses on the bladder) and after childbirth. The second option awaits those whose muscles do not work well. Therefore, doctors recommend training them in advance, monitoring the condition during pregnancy and maintaining muscle tone after childbirth.
During childbearing, thanks to Kegel exercises for urinary incontinence, a woman increases tissue elasticity, decreases venous congestion, improves joint mobility, improves bowel function, and reduces the risk of involuntary urinary excretion.Kegel gymnastics to strengthen muscles is important for the very process of childbirth, since their condition directly affects the preservation of pregnancy and recovery in the postpartum period.
It is convenient that the training can be carried out at home – Kegel exercises for women do not require a special room and a simulator and are performed at any time. You need to train before and after childbirth, since muscle elasticity is always needed. Before the baby is born, this will help him to be born, and after that it will accelerate the healing of tears and prevent organ prolapse.Even after a caesarean section, exercise is beneficial because pregnant women experience less muscle tone due to gravity.
Additional benefits of intimate muscle training
In addition to the benefits of Kegel exercises for urinary incontinence in a woman, they are beneficial for the health of various systems and the body as a whole. In particular, we are talking about sexual health. If a representative of the weaker sex notes a weakened tone of the vaginal muscles (or her partner notices it), wants to improve the quality of sensations received during intimacy, or to increase libido, you need to start training immediately.Thanks to regular training, the tone of the pelvic muscles will increase, blood circulation in this area will improve (which is important for those whose activities are associated with being in a static position for a long time). A woman will be able to control intimate muscles, which will expand the range of sexual sensations, give joy from intimate caresses and increase libido.
Kegel exercises will also be of great benefit to those entering the menopause phase. During this period, intercourse can cause discomfort and pain, and the external genitals are not sufficiently moisturized.If you add to this the increased likelihood of ureteral infections, the picture is bleak. The sooner you start gymnastics, the faster you can fix problems. Through regular exercise, blood circulation will improve, and with it the condition of the mucous membranes. The risk of skin damage during intercourse will decrease, which means that the likelihood of infection will decrease. At the same time, the muscle tissue of the genitourinary system will be strengthened, which will prevent incontinence.
How to do exercises correctly
In order to properly perform Kegel gymnastics for urinary incontinence in a woman, you first need to determine which muscles should be used.Finding them is easy, and there are several simple ways to do this:
- While urinating, stop the stream, then relax and continue. Remember the muscle that had to be strained while stopping the process.
- Imagine trapping gases inside the intestines as they try to escape. To do this, tighten the muscles as much as possible, remember the sensation.
- Wash your hands, lie on the sofa and insert your finger into the vaginal cavity, and then try to grab it with your internal muscles.If you managed to strain them so that the finger felt a soft squeeze, this is what you need.
Any of these methods, or a combination of them, can be used for beginners to find the very muscles that need to be strengthened. In the future, the course of gymnastics consists of sequential contraction and relaxation of this muscle. Regularity and patience are important, and soon the results will be visible.
Kegel exercises can be done anywhere and at any time – at home, on public transport, at a desk, in a queue.Others will not guess that the woman is doing the exercises. It is advisable to take a comfortable position – standing, sitting or lying down, and then focus on specific muscles. Next, you need to consistently compress and relax the muscles, while counting up to three for each movement. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching TV, driving, reading a book, or taking a bath – exercise, and the more often the better. The doctors’ recommendations boil down to the fact that it is advisable to perform the workout three times a day, each time in a new position, and the number of repetitions should be increased to 10-15.With such a schedule, a significant effect will appear in 2-3 months.
You need to understand that for urinary incontinence in women, Kegel gymnastics is not the only method of treatment, but part of a complex therapy. Technique and regularity are essential. It is advisable to consult a doctor.
Experts give the following recommendations for the correct performance of Kegel gymnastics for women:
- empty the bladder just before exercise;
- choose a comfortable position – sitting, lying or standing.If the preferred position is lying on your back, your arms should be extended along the body, and your knees should be slightly raised. The neck should not be strained;
- The main movement in any Kegel exercise for women is squeeze (contraction). It is important to eliminate tension in the muscles of the press, buttocks and thighs, otherwise there will be no result;
- you need to breathe deeply, evenly and calmly, without delay;
- it is impossible to contract intimate muscles when urinating – this method, on the contrary, weakens the muscles of the pelvic floor;
- repeat the complex 3-4 times during the day, performing each time from 5 to 40 repetitions.You cannot sharply increase the load, only gradually: perform 15 repetitions for 2 weeks, 20 for the next 2 weeks, etc.
The correct technique for performing Kegel gymnastics for women allows you to feel the first positive results after six weeks of regular exercise. Changes will be noticeable in all spheres of life, including intimate, and even self-confidence will be added.
Given the peculiarities of its implementation, the Kegel complex for women has almost no contraindications.Exception:
Premature birth and major surgery;
The presence of malignant neoplasms;
Prolapse of the uterus.
In these cases, you must not overexert yourself. But in any case, you should always consult with your doctor before starting classes.Even if there are no contraindications, but during exercise you feel discomfort or pain, you should stop and consult a doctor. You can resume training only with the permission of the physician. A consultation with a gynecologist will be needed if, after 3-5 months of regular training, there is no change for the better. The rest of the exercises are flawless – there are no power loads and cardio stress, you do not need to spend money on simulators, equipment, or a trip to the gym. The minimum expenditure of effort and time will pay off by improving well-being in all areas.
Basic elements of gymnastics
A wide selection of Kegel exercises for women allows you to actively work out the muscles of the small pelvis and those located next to them. A complex of the 10 most effective:
Get into a comfortable position. Contract intimate muscles, hold for 10 seconds, relax. Repeat 10-12 times, eventually increasing the number to 50.
Contract and relax the desired muscles for 5 seconds at a comfortable pace.Relax for 5 seconds and repeat. The number of repetitions for beginners is 10 times. Over time, increase both the number of approaches and the duration of the contraction cycle.
Similar to the previous Kegel exercise for women, but you need to contract the muscles as quickly as possible within 5 seconds.
Take a comfortable body position and imagine that the muscles of the vagina are an elevator shaft. By contracting the muscles, move the imaginary elevator car up, then lower it down, relaxing the muscles on each “floor”.After a short break, repeat.
Engage the muscles of the vagina and anus. Alternately contract muscles and relax at a comfortable pace for 5 seconds, imitating a wave-like movement. In the future, increase the duration of the lesson to 20 seconds.
Empty the intestines. Get into a comfortable position, relax your body and start pushing. Exercise is useful for expectant mothers.
While inhaling, squeeze the desired muscles as much as possible. Hold for 6 seconds, while exhaling, gradually relax. Repeat 5-6 times.
It resembles the previous exercise, but as you exhale, you need to sharply relax the muscles, as if pushing out the air.
Lie on your back. Rest your feet on the floor, bend your knees.Keep your shoulders and feet flat on the floor. Raise the pelvis high (you do not need to specially strain the intimate muscles, they will turn on in the work themselves), stay at the top point for 10 seconds, return to the starting position. Repeat 10-20 times. This pelvic strengthening exercise will improve circulation to the area and oxygenate the tissues.
Stand up straight, put your palms on your hips, and spread your legs shoulder-width apart. Move your hips to the sides, slightly bending your knees.At the extreme points on the left and right, strongly squeeze the intimate muscles and relax them when moving towards the center. Repeat 25 times.
The listed Kegel exercises for women are enough for a full-fledged training of intimate muscles. It is advisable to do it for a long time, ideally all your life.
Features of classes for women over 50
Women who have celebrated their anniversary should not classify themselves as pensioners and give up their intimate life. With age, the vaginal muscles lose their tone, and the pressure of the uterus on the bladder often provokes incontinence.If we supplement the sensations with manifestations of menopause, the picture is not rosy. There is a solution to the problem: thanks to Kegel gymnastics for women, you can restore muscle tone at any age, eliminate discomfort, and prevent diseases of the pelvic organs. It will take longer to work out to the desired result than in youth, but the effect will be.
Can I exercise during menstruation
If you regularly do Kegel exercises for women, menstruation will be less painful.Many girls and women around the world experience severe pain, from which they are saved by pills. But it is not necessary to take strong medications every month. You can try simple steps to strengthen intimate areas and reduce the discomfort that occurs on “critical” days, if it is not associated with the presence of pathology.
During menstruation, Kegel gymnastics for women does not pose a threat, only you need not to overload the body. You can’t go for a record right away – the number of repetitions and the time of muscle contraction increase gradually.
Charging should be postponed for infectious diseases of the genitourinary system. Only after consulting a doctor and making a diagnosis, having passed the prescribed treatment, you can resume gymnastics as soon as health returns to normal.
Also watch our video tutorial:
Kegel exercises for the pelvic floor muscles
You have probably heard of Kegel exercises at least once. But not everyone knows what it is and how they are useful.This is a workout of the internal muscles of the pelvic floor, which support the bladder, uterus and rectum, and they are especially useful for expectant and new mothers. In this article, we will tell you what are the benefits of Kegel exercises, how to start doing them and do it regularly.
Kegel exercises for pregnant women: what is it?
Kegel exercises train the pelvic floor muscles by contracting and relaxing the muscles in the pelvic and genital area. These are the muscles that support the pelvic organs: the bladder, uterus, small intestine, and rectum.Doing Kegel exercises regularly during pregnancy and after childbirth will strengthen these muscles and keep them working properly, which is extremely important to keep your bladder and bowels in check at all times. Kegel exercises are recommended to be done regularly, regardless of pregnancy. During pregnancy, as well as after the birth of a child, they are especially useful, because during this period the pelvic floor muscles are especially in need of strengthening.
Extra plus: you don’t have to go to the gym to do Kegel exercises.You can train at home, unnoticed by everyone.
Benefits of Kegel Exercises for Pregnant Women
Why Kegel Exercises Are Helpful, Especially During Pregnancy and Postpartum:
Helps control the bladder. Many women have urine leaks during pregnancy or after childbirth. This is especially true for women who have given birth naturally, as well as for those who already have multiple children. Kegel exercises are an excellent means of preventing and treating urinary incontinence: for example, when you really want to write and you cannot endure to the toilet, and also accidental incontinence with stress, when a small amount of urine leaks during coughing, laughing or sneezing.
Hold the pelvic organs in place. Vaginal delivery is one of the possible causes of pelvic organ prolapse (prolapse of the uterus, urethra or intestines into the vagina). The fact is that during pregnancy and natural delivery, the pelvic floor muscles weaken and cannot keep the pelvic organs in place. In addition to other therapy, Kegel exercises may be prescribed by your doctor.
Helps to avoid fecal incontinence, that is, when you can’t wait to get to the toilet to go big.Kegel exercises strengthen the rectal muscles well.
By strengthening your pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy, you can relax and control them in preparation for labor and childbirth. In the postpartum period, Kegel exercises help to restore the tissues of the perineum, which are stretched during natural delivery.
How to do Kegel exercises for pregnant women
Kegel exercises are very easy to do. The whole point is to contract and relax the same muscles that we use when trying to control urination.Here’s how to do the Kegel exercises:
Feel the muscles you want. To do this, insert your finger (after washing your hands) into the vagina and squeeze the muscles that you use when you need to control gas. If you feel pressure around your finger, you did it right. You can imagine trying to hold back gas or urination to find those muscles. If you are unsure, ask your doctor to help you find the muscles you want.
Sit back. It is easier to do the exercises lying down at first. In the future, you will be able to perform them lying down, standing and even sitting.
Contract your pelvic floor muscles, relax and repeat. Try several different Kegel exercises:
Hold. Contract your pelvic floor muscles and hold them in this position for a few seconds. Then relax for a few seconds and repeat. At first, you will only be able to hold the muscles for a couple of seconds.Increase the retention time gradually over several weeks by a second or two, until you manage to hold for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise 10 times in a row. If you’re having a hard time, reduce the number of repetitions. Contraction may decrease as you exercise. This is fine. Just focus and tighten your muscles again. Over time, you will notice that the contractions themselves have become more powerful.
Quick cuts. Quickly contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles for several consecutive cycles.
Hold-release for 3 seconds. Hold the contracted muscles for three seconds, relax for 3 seconds and repeat.
Increase the load as the muscles strengthen. It is best to start lightly and gradually work up your reps, retention times, and workouts per day. The next section will discuss when and how often you can do Kegel exercises.
Like any other exercise, Kegel exercises require regularity and proper technique.Typically, bladder and bowel control improves after 6 to 12 weeks. To consolidate the results, do Kegel exercises every day.
When to start doing Kegel exercises and how often
If you are expecting a baby or just after giving birth, discuss this with your doctor. The best time to start exercising is in the second trimester, when many expectant mothers experience a burst of energy. If you have just given birth, it is recommended that you start Kegel exercises a few days after a natural delivery without complications – when you feel ready.If you have had complications from a vaginal delivery or a cesarean section, wait for permission from your doctor.
As for the frequency, there are no hard and fast rules for Kegel exercises. Some experts advise doing them at least twice a week, others every day. The number of repetitions and the frequency of classes can be safely varied according to the situation. For example, your doctor may prescribe you 10 sets of Kegel exercises three times a day, or 50 contractions throughout the day, or twice a day and then increase to three.As you work out, you can do them lying on the couch, in line at the store, or even in bed before bed. You can also contract your pelvic floor muscles if you feel that the tension could cause urine to leak — for example, you feel like sneezing or laughing.
Little Kegel Exercise Tricks
To get the most out of your exercise, pay attention to the following points:
Do not exercise while peeing – this may not empty the bladder completely.
Do not strain or hold your breath. The muscles of the abdomen, buttocks and thighs should be relaxed.
Don’t overdo it. If after a while after the start of training you feel a slight “clogging” in the pelvic area, this is normal, but if any painful sensations stop the exercise and tell your doctor about it.
The main thing in this business is regularity. If you keep forgetting about exercise, download a special app: it will remind you that it’s time to exercise, and will also suggest various training programs.
Sometimes women find it extremely difficult to contract their pelvic muscles or they cannot find the muscles they want.