If someone told you there was an exercise you could do for two minutes a day to enhance your sexual satisfaction, help you avoid or improve urinary and fecal incontinence, you’d probably be more than just a little curious, right? Say hello to Kegel exercises. Named after their inventor, gynecologist Dr. Arnold Kegel these moves are essentially the ultimate pelvic push-up.
The idea is that by doing a series of contracting and releasing of the muscles in the pelvic area, you work to strengthen the vaginal wall muscles, as well as the ones that control urine flow and bowel movements, says Obstetrician/Gynecologist Dr. Jennifer Lesko.
Who Should Do Kegels?
Anyone at risk of weakened pelvic floor muscles, which really includes all women at one point or another in their life. Factors that contribute to weakening of the pelvic floor muscles include pregnancy/childbirth, being overweight, and aging. Kegels are a must if you already show signs of weakened pelvic floor muscles, including:
- Urine leakage when laughing, sneezing and/or coughing
- You frequently have a strong urge to urinate right before losing a large amount (also known as urinary incontinence)
- Stool leakage (also known as fecal incontinence)
How to Do Kegels?
Finding your pelvic floor is the absolute key to doing the exercises correctly. Experts suggest this trick: Try to stop your urine mid-stream; if you can do that, you’ve found the muscle that you’re trying to work out.
Once you’ve figured the ‘where,’ contract the muscle for five to 10 seconds, then relax for five seconds. Do this 10 times and aim for 3 sessions per day, for a total of 30 daily Kegel exercises.
The beauty of Kegels is that you can do them just about anywhere: lying down, sitting in a chair, or even standing on line for them ATM machine. If done consistently, you should notice a difference (less leakage, enhanced sensation during sex, which may help you achieve orgasm more readily) in about 4 to 6 weeks.